Economic costs of illegal immigration

Issues

Between 40 and 50 percent of wage-loss among low-skilled Americans is due to the in-migration of low-skilled workers. Many American workers lose their jobs through unfair competition. An estimated 1,880,000 American workers are displaced from their jobs every year by immigration and the cost for providing welfare and assistance to these Americans is over $15 billion a year - FAIR research.

Immigration is a net drain on the economy; corporate interests reap the benefits of cheap labor, while taxpayers pay the infrastructural cost. FAIR research shows "the net annual cost of immigration has been estimated at between $67 and $87 billion a year. The National Academy of Sciences found that the net fiscal drain on American taxpayers is between $166 and $226 a year per native household. Even studies claiming some modest overall gain for the economy from immigration ($1 to $10 billion a year) have found that it is outweighed by the fiscal cost ($15 to $20 billion a year) to native taxpayers."

$60 billion dollars are earned by illegal aliens in the U.S. each year. One of Mexico's largest revenue streams (after exports and oil sales) consists of money sent home by legal immigrants and illegal aliens working in the U.S. Economists say this will help Mexico reduce its $17.8 billion defecit and may bolster the peso. $10 billion dollars are sent back to Mexico annually, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, reported in an Associated Press article, up $800 million from the previous year. ($9 billion dollars were previously sent back annually, according to a September 25, 2002 NPR report). That figure equals what Mexico earns annually from tourism. This massive transfer of wealth from America - essentially from America's displaced working poor - goes directly to Mexico.

For more information, see this map of remittances to Latin America. new!

"In the NAFTA era, a staggering 87 percent of Mexico's imports go to the United States, while Mexicans living in the United States send home more than $8 billion annually. [Mexican President] Fox has said he considers his constituency to include the 22 million to 24 million Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the United States. Mexican candidates now make campaign stops in U.S. cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix and Fresno, Calif." (Mexico's muddle, Ruben Navarrette Jr., March 26, 2003).

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