Power & Market

Invasion Alert

Invasion Alert

Many Americans care about the dangers of mass immigration. Are they right to be concerned? In what follows, I’ll try to show that they are right. Immigration of elements hostile to American values does indeed pose a grave threat. But, if we are libertarians, don’t we have to defend “open borders”? I will argue that we don’t.

One of the most obvious reasons mass immigration is a problem is its immense cost—hundreds of billions of dollars. A post from November 2023 that appeared on Judicial Watch explains:

“Mass illegal immigration resulting from the Biden administration’s open border policies is costing American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars to provide an unprecedented number of migrants with medical treatment, housing, education, and other welfare services, not to mention law enforcement. A new congressional report that includes federal and state figures reveals the shocking price of supporting an estimated 16.8 to 29 million illegal aliens currently living in the United States. The “net cost of illegal immigration is greater than the annual gross domestic product (GDP) of 15 different states,” according to the lengthy report, published this week by the House Committee on Homeland Security. “Illegal immigration costs every American taxpayer a net average of $956—or $1,156 before the taxes paid by illegal aliens are factored in.”

Healthcare is among the biggest expenses with Medicaid costs for “emergency services for undocumented aliens” exceeding $12.4 billion in the last two years, according to figures provided to committee members by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In fiscal year 2022, which ended in September, improper Medicaid payouts across the U.S. totaled more than $80 billion with around $8 billion going to illegal aliens. In New York City hospitals recorded about 30,000 visits by illegal immigrants in the past year along with approximately 300 births. A Yuma County, Arizona lawmaker recently testified before Congress that the maternity ward and emergency room at Yuma Regional Medical Center has incurred over $26 million in uncompensated costs for illegal immigrants.

Housing migrants is another huge expense that is forecasted to reach as much as $451 billion, according to figures cited in the congressional report. New York City alone is on track to spend over $12 billion by 2023 to provide shelter for tens of thousands of illegal aliens that have arrived since spring 2022. Chicago is spending north of $20 million a month to “house and support” illegal aliens and Washington D.C. is doling out more than $52 million to house the large groups of migrants that have settled into the capital area recently. “Because [DHS Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas refuses to follow the law requiring him to detain and remove illegal aliens, towns and cities across the country have been forced to pick up the costs of housing and providing shelter for the hundreds of thousands that have been released into their communities,” the report states. “This reality has been documented everywhere from small towns thousands of miles from the border, all the way to America’s largest cities.”

Education and law enforcement are two other major expenses for the U.S. government, states, and local municipalities nationwide. Nearly four million illegal aliens attend public schools around the country and most receive special services for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) costing American taxpayers nearly $59 billion. New York City alone is spending around $440 million to educate about 11,500 illegal aliens who will likely remain in the system next year. Police expenditures provided by the National Institute of Corrections reveal that illegal immigrants cost states nearly $9 billion in 2022 with judicial expenses around $3.72 billion and prison costs about $6.2 billion. Department of Justice (DOJ) statistics cited in the report disclose that 25,000 criminal aliens are in federal prisons at an annual price tag of approximately $40,000 per incarcerated individual, which means taxpayers are doling out nearly $1 billion to lock up criminal illegal aliens.

Other migrant costs include billions of dollars for transportation and welfare benefits such as food stamps. In fiscal year 2022 the government spent around $5.8 billion to provide millions of illegal immigrants with food stamps, according to figures provided in the new congressional report. Another welfare program known as Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) that gives low-income pregnant women and their children up to the age of five nutritious food disperses over $1.3 billion in benefits each year to illegal immigrants. Transportation costs listed in the document include more than $75 million in Texas to transfer migrants from the state, around $3.5 million for dozens of buses that departed Arizona to Washington D.C. and $12 million to the Florida Department of Transportation for illegal alien relocation. Additionally, the federal government spent at least $340 million transporting illegal immigrants into the interior last year and $660 million to relocate alien family units and minors, which are classified as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC).” See this.

Read the full article at LewRockwell.com. 

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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