Report Cites “Huge” Economic Impact of Illegal Immigrants on Ohio Economy

By FAIR, Special for US Daily Review.

A new study released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) finds that providing education, health care, law enforcement, and social and government services to illegal aliens and their dependents costs Ohio taxpayers $878 million. These costs amount to a $200 yearly burden for each Ohiohousehold headed by a U.S. citizen.

The report, The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Ohioans, estimates that about 110,000 illegal aliens resided in the Buckeye State as of 2010 – nearly three times as many as lived there in 2000. In addition, there are more than 25,000 U.S.-born children of illegal aliens living in Ohio who are eligible for all means-tested programs and benefits. Though these children are U.S. citizens, they would not be in the state if not for the fact that their parents violated U.S. immigration laws.

Among the key findings of The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Ohioans:

  • Education and special English-language instruction for an estimated 9,480 illegal alien students and 25,375 U.S.-born children of illegal aliens costs Ohio taxpayers $509 million annually.
  • Uncompensated health care for illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children costs Ohioans $84 million a year.
  • Law enforcement and criminal justice costs associated with illegal immigration add about $78 million a year to the state’s tab.
  • Means-tested social welfare services used by U.S.-born children of illegal aliens add $81 million in costs each year.

Illegal aliens pay about $18.8 million per year in payroll and other taxes. However, the report concludes that even these minimal payments do not represent a net gain for Ohio as the jobs filled by illegal aliens would likely be filled by legal U.S. workers, working at higher wages, with a much higher rate of tax compliance.

“At a time when Ohio, like most states, is struggling with severe budget constraints, the state’s rapidly growing illegal alien population is forcing the state to divert scarce resources to provide for their needs,” observed Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “These large and rapidly increasing costs are unwelcome at the best of times and are even more onerous as Ohio faces severe budget shortfalls.”

The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Ohioans notes that the federal government, which has consistently failed to effectively enforce laws against illegal immigration, bears primary responsibility for the $878 million a year cost burden to Ohioans. However, the report also finds that Ohio has not implemented policies that would discourage illegal aliens from settling in the state.

“Ohio is certainly a victim of failed federal policies and, in recent years, the Obama administration’s outright refusal to enforce many immigration laws. But that does not mean that the state is powerless to discourage illegal immigration and reduce burdens on taxpayers,” said Stein. “We hope that by estimating the costs so that everyone can understand the burdens illegal immigration imposed on Ohioans, Ohio lawmakers will be spurred to action.”

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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