If an illegal immigrant amnesty or guest worker program similar to the ones being contemplated by the U.S. Senate and supported by President Bush were enacted, the cost to state and local governments would be staggering, an immigration reform group charged Tuesday.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that state and local costs associated with illegal immigration for public education, health care and incarceration, now about $36 billion a year, would balloon to $61.5 billion by 2010—a 70 percent increase—and increase to $106.3 billion by 2020.
As a result of an amnesty and a vastly expanded guest worker program, millions of current illegal aliens would gain legal access to government programs and services, a FAIR analysis states.
Moreover, newly legalized aliens would be allowed to bring their dependents to this country, adding to the burdens on schools and public health care. Similarly, state and local governments would have to provide for the education and health care of the dependents of the 400,000 new guest workers called for in the Senate proposal.
A breakdown of the calculation of amnesty costs and a state by state impact analysis can be found at FAIR’s website.