WASHINGTON – Someone has finally fixed an approximate taxpayer cost of between 12 million and 15 million illegal aliens residing in the U.S.
A new study by the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector found a household headed by an individual without a high school education, including about two-thirds of illegal aliens, costs U.S. taxpayers more than $32,000 in federal, state and local benefits. That same family contributes an average of $9,000 a year in taxes, resulting in a net tax burden of $22,449 each year.
Over the course of the household’s lifetime that tax burden translates to $1.1 million.
If the lower figure of 12 million illegal aliens is used for estimation purposes, the total tax burden translates to $2.2 trillion.
“Would any of us buy shares in a company that we knew would produce a loss of a million dollars a share,” asks Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, in response to the study. “Cheap labor is not cheap at the cost of over a million dollars per head of household.”
Rector’s study, “The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Households to the U.S. Taxpayer,” examines the economics of the 17.7 million American households made up of people without a high-school degree. Using numbers from the Census Bureau, the Congressional Research Service, the Bureau of Labor Standards and other government agencies, Rector determined what they earn, what they spend and what they receive in government services.
About half of the 17.7 million households studied are illegal aliens. About two-thirds of illegal alien households are headed by someone without a high school degree. Only 10 percent of native-born Americans fit into that category.
“Over the next ten years the total cost of low-skill households to the taxpayer (immediate benefits minus taxes paid) is likely to be at least $3.9 trillion,” Rector writes. “This number would go up significantly if changes in immigration policy lead to substantial increases in the number of low-skill immigrants entering the country and receiving services.”