The purpose of this document is to provide an analysis of the economic impact on the U.S. economy from illegal immigration. From displacing low-skilled, low-wage blue collar workers to taxing already overburdened state social services, illegal immigrants have a deleterious impact on the U.S. economy. This analysis proposes that the U.S. fails to give enough weight to the economic potential of immigrants in setting immigration policy.
According to estimates from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), more than 5 million illegal aliens currently reside in the U.S. with 400,000 more added to their numbers annually (Camarota 1). A majority of these illegal aliens reside in border states like Texas, California, New Mexico and others where there numbers put an excessive burden on state resources. According to one report, illegal immigrants use $42 billion more in welfare resources than they pay into the U.S. tax system (Borjas 44).
Seven border states have filed lawsuits against the federal government in the hopes of reclaiming billions of lost dollars in social services. Of the more than eight million illegal immigrants in this country, eighty-six percent of them reside in seven border states: California, New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Arizona, and New Mexico (Edmondson 2). Since 1982, the Supreme Court made it mandatory for states to provide educational and health services to illegal immigrants. The costs of doing so are enormous. In 1993-1994, the costs for education in the seven key states were $3.1 billion, with another $471 million for prison costs and $445 million in Medicaid funds (Edmonson 2).
Many blame lax immigration policies and loose border security as a reason for the higher number of illegal immigrants in this country. So, too, there are push factors such as the extreme poverty, low wages and high unemployment in Mexico. Pull factors operate too as many industries such as the farming ind...