Lawyers across the country may be preparing lawsuits challenging the recently passed Arizona immigration law, but one immigration reform group says this doesn’t change the fact that the influx of illegal aliens has a significant impact on the state’s budget.
Recent estimates released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) suggest that Arizona’s cost of illegal immigration exceeds $2.7 billion annually. Six years ago, the organization put that cost at about $1.3 billion.
Regarding specific budgetary areas, FAIR has found that K-12 education of the children of illegal aliens costs the state’s taxpayers nearly $1.4 billion. Among other state expenses, Medicaid, SCHIP, incarceration and welfare cost approximately $1 billion.
By contrast, the report found that state tax revenue collected from illegal immigrants amounts to only about $143 million annually, leaving a deficit of more than a $2.7 billion.
"It’s no surprise that the state of Arizona, one of the hardest hit by illegal immigration, now has one of the toughest laws," said Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
"[The bill] is a no-nonsense, common-sense example of a state acting where the Federal government is failing, a reaction to the inaction in Washington," he added.
However, opponents of the legislation worry that it will open doors to racial profiling of minorities and create distrust between law enforcement and residents.