Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A look at Arizona's costs

Rational folks, when told that education, health care, and incarceration costs are rapidly increasing, will not be shocked to learn illegal immigration now costs Arizona taxpayers about $1.3 billion annually. That's according to a new study by FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

"The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Arizonans" shows a nearly nine-fold increase in costs during the past decade. The burden on the state's taxpayers continues to grow rapidly.

The average native-born-headed household in Arizona now bears more than $700 a year in additional costs to provide education to illegal aliens and their children, an estimated $810 million a year.

Health care for illegal immigrants, which threatens to bankrupt many Arizona hospitals and clinics, adds $400 million a year to the tab. Incarcerating illegal aliens costs Arizona taxpayers $80 million annually. Only a small fraction of these and other costs incurred by the state are offset by an estimated $257 million a year that illegal aliens pay in taxes to the state.

The costs are even higher than the total of these three cost areas, because there are a number of other expensive benefits received by illegal aliens that are not included in this calculation.

"More of interest than the $1.3 billion a year that uncontrolled illegal immigration is costing Arizona is the rate at which those costs are increasing," says report author Jack Martin. x "Between 1996 and 2000, the illegal alien population of Arizona grew by a staggering 150 percent, and that rate of increase has not abated. x

"Unless the federal government takes steps to clamp down on the massive influx of new illegal aliens, and state officials begin cooperating with immigration enforcement authorities, illegal immigration will do to Arizona what it has already done to California's state budget," he said.

This is not an isolated phenomenon; it should be understood by all Americans -- especially those elites we have elected to Congress who are doing very little to stop this illegal flow.

Martin says that while Arizona has become the new illegal gateway to America, and Arizonans have been forced to bear the staggering costs of our failed immigration policy, "the state's elected representatives in Washington have, ironically, been at the forefront of efforts to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens and their families. The $1.3 billion a year they are now paying will be just a taste of what is to come if we do not begin enforcing our immigration laws, or, worse yet, if we further encourage illegal immigration by enacting amnesty proposals."

All Americans should look carefully at this important report which forecasts a future U.S. population of two to three times the current 300 million. Both China and India labor heavily under the yoke of billion-plus populations, most uneducated and many unemployed.

Do we want to join the billionaire club by 2060? I think not. And we haven't even mentioned the related issues of pollution, terrorism and general cultural disruption that a new, dominant minority will bring us.