The new report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform finds that, as of 2022, American taxpayers shell out at least $151 billion each year to cover the cost of illegal immigration. Broken down, the data reveal that taxpayers pay $182 billion annually to provide services and benefits to illegal aliens and their dependents. Those costs are offset by about $31 billion in taxes collected from the estimated 15.5 million illegal aliens living in the United States, bringing the net cost to $150.7 billion annually.
Clearly, says Ira Mehlman, media director for FAIR, this is a very expensive proposition for the American people.
"The cost has increased about 30% since the last time we did a similar analysis back in 2017," he tells AFN. "So, in the five years between 2017 and 2022, the costs have increased from $116 billion a year to a $151 billion a year – and they're just going to keep going up and up."
FAIR also notes that a large percentage of illegal aliens who work in the underground economy frequently avoid paying any income tax at all – and that many illegal immigrants actually receive a net cash profit through refundable tax credit programs.
Then there's those legal costs …
In a related report, the Immigration Reform Law Institute in Washington, DC, reveals U.S. taxpayers are also footing the bill – to the tune of $66 million – for attorneys to defend illegal immigrants in Immigration Court, reflecting what IRLI's general counsel calls a "dysfunctional" immigration system.
Mehlman says it makes no sense that American taxpayers are spending millions of dollars to pay for lawyers to defend illegals in court.
"It's being funneled through NGOs [non-governmental organizations]. It's not coming directly [from the federal government]," Mehlman acknowledges. "But nevertheless, there is public financing going into this – and it just further serves to illustrate the mockery that the Biden administration has made of our immigration enforcement policies."
According to the IRLI report, public officials in a number of large jurisdictions are collaborating with progressive, "anti-borders activists" from the Vera Institute of Justice to provide free lawyers to illegals, criminal aliens, and visa overstayers. Currently, an estimated 1.6 million cases are pending before the Immigration Court.