Every illegal alien, over the course of their lifetime, costs American taxpayers about $70,000, Center for Immigration Studies Director of Research Steve Camarota says.
During an interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Daily, Camarota said his research has revealed the enormous financial burden that illegal immigration has on America’s working and middle class taxpayers in terms of public services, depressed wages, and welfare.
“In a person’s lifetime, I’ve estimated that an illegal border crosser might cost taxpayers … maybe over $70,000 a year as a net cost,” Camarota said. “And that excludes the cost of their U.S.-born children, which gets pretty big when you add that in.”
“Once [an illegal alien] has a child, they can receive cash welfare on behalf of their U.S.-born children,” Camarota explained. “Once they have a child, they can live in public housing. Once they have a child, they can receive food stamps on behalf of that child. That’s how that works.”
Camarota said the education levels of illegal aliens, border crossers, and legal immigrants are largely to blame for the high level of welfare usage by the f0reign-born population in the U.S., noting that new arrivals tend to compete for jobs against America’s poor and working class communities.
In past waves of mass immigration, Camarota said, the U.S. did not have an expansive welfare system. Today’s ever-growing welfare system, coupled with mass illegal and legal immigration levels, is “extremely problematic,” according to Camarota, for American taxpayers.
The RAISE Act — reintroduced in the Senate by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), David Perdue (R-GA), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) — would cut legal immigration levels in half and convert the immigration system to favor well-educated foreign nationals, thus relieving American workers and taxpayers of the nearly five-decade-long wave of booming immigration. Currently, mass legal immigration redistributes the wealth of working and middle class Americans to the country’s top earners.
“Virtually none of that existed in 1900 during the last great wave of immigration, when we also took in a number of poor people. We didn’t have a well-developed welfare state,” Camarota continued:
We’re not going to stop [the welfare state] tomorrow. So in that context, bringing in less educated people who are poor is extremely problematic for public coffers, for taxpayers in a way that it wasn’t in 1900 because the roads weren’t even paved between the cities in 1900. It’s just a totally different world. And that’s the point of the RAISE Act is to sort of bring in line immigration policy with the reality say of a large government … and a welfare state. [Emphasis added]
The immigrants are not all coming to get welfare and they don’t immediately sign up, but over time, an enormous fraction sign their children up. It’s likely the case that of the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants, more than half are signed up for Medicaid — which is our most expensive program. [Emphasis added]
As Breitbart News has reported, U.S. households headed by foreign-born residents use nearly twice the welfare of households headed by native-born Americans.
Every year the U.S. admits more than 1.5 million foreign nationals, with the vast majority deriving from chain migration. In 2017, the foreign-born population reached a record high of 44.5 million. By 2023, the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the legal and illegal immigrant population of the U.S. will make up nearly 15 percent of the entire U.S. population.
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John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.