Deporting illegal aliens 6 times cheaper than letting them stay

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Deporting immigrants who are currently residing in the U.S. illegally would be six times cheaper than allowing them to stay in the country according to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). This contradicts claims made by those who oppose immigration enforcement that systematic deportation would be prohibitively expensive.

Data provided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) show that the average deportation costs were $10,854 in FY 2016. This includes “all costs necessary to identify, apprehend, detain, process through immigration court, and remove an alien.” In comparison, allowing an illegal alien to remain in the country would cause an average lifetime fiscal drain (taxes paid to the government minus services used) of $65,292. This figure excludes the fiscal drain created by the illegal alien’s descendants which has been estimated at $16,998.

As there are an estimated 11.43 million illegal immigrants currently residing on U.S. soil, the total average lifetime fiscal drain associated with this section of the population would be close to $750 billion. In contrast, removing every single illegal alien would cost at most $124 billion inclusive of court costs.

The analysis also suggests that the abovementioned removal costs could actually be lower. Indeed if immigration laws were adequately enforced, many illegal immigrants would probably leave the U.S. on their own accord. In addition, the strict enforcement of current immigration laws would likely discourage new illegal immigrants from entering the country in the first place.

The huge costs associated with illegal immigration can be explained in part by the low educational level of illegal aliens. While well-educated individuals tend to be net tax contributors, low-educated individuals generally receive more in benefits than they actually pay in taxes.

According to the Pew Research Center, 74 percent of illegal aliens are poorly educated. While 27 percent completed high school, nearly half (47 percent) did not.


The analysis also suggests that the more illegal immigrants are deported, the lower the average costs.

The Center for Immigration Studies concludes that deporting the majority of illegal aliens would actually make sense from a fiscal point of view. In addition, the analysis clearly contradicts the claims made by critics of strict immigration laws that removal costs would be prohibitive.

On Wednesday President Trump backed the Reforming American Immigration for a strong Economy (RAISE) Act put forward by Sens. David Purdue (R-GA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR). The Republican proposal would significantly reduce the inflow of low-skilled workers into the country.

The full analysis can be found on the Center for Immigration Studies website.

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