The Impact of Illegal Immigration in Texas

A trio of Democrats running for top offices in Texas want to decriminalize unauthorized border crossings.

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who’s challenging Republican Sen. Ted Cruz for his Senate seat, gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez, and congressional candidate Veronica Escobar told HuffPost they are in favor of such a move, which the report says would be simpler to implement than abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as some Democrats have demanded. But is that whats best for America?

Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies for The Center for Immigration Studies discusses our failed immigration policies:

Crime by Illegal Aliens in Texas

According to DHS status indicators, over 261,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011 and July 31, 2018, of which over 175,000 were classified as illegal aliens by DHS.

Between June 1, 2011 and July 31, 2018, these 175,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 273,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 505 homicide charges; 30,408 assault charges; 5,396 burglary charges; 34,555 drug charges; 365 kidnapping charges; 15,100 theft charges; 22,213 obstructing police charges; 1,569 robbery charges; 3,212 sexual assault charges; 2,022 sexual offense charges; and 2,754 weapon charges. DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 112,000 convictions including 225 homicide convictions; 12,540 assault convictions; 2,967 burglary convictions; 16,762 drug convictions; 152 kidnapping convictions; 6,741 theft convictions; 10,720 obstructing police convictions; 950 robbery convictions; 1,567 sexual assault convictions; 1,076 sexual offense convictions; and 1,194 weapon convictions… and that’s just the ones that were reported.


Cost of Illegal Aliens on Texas

Illegal immigrants, and their children, cost Texans a net $12.36 billion a year. That works out to roughly $6,000 per alien.

Of this, $10.03 billion came out of taxpayer pockets.

Given that Texas’s biennial budget for 2016-2017 was 209.4 billion this means that illegal immigrants eat up 9.6% of their budget ended up being spent spent on illegal immigrants.

Let’s look at it another way: for every $9 Texas spends on its citizens, it spends $1 on illegal aliens.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are 1,470,000 adult illegal immigrants living in Texas.

This number is echoed by the Houston Chronicle (1.5 million) and Pew Research (1.7 million)—of course, they’re all working with the same source data, so it’s not really a surprise they match.

In addition, there are 588,000 children of illegal immigrants (509,000 of them would be considered anchor babies).

Summed up, there are 2.06 million illegal immigrants and their children living in Texas.

Let’s paint a better picture using current data from the MPI.

  • 91% of illegal immigrants in Texas are from Latin America: 78% from Mexico, 4% from El Salvador, 4% from Honduras, and 3% from Guatemala, 2% other.
  • 83% of Texas’ illegal aliens arrived in the last 20 years; 39% in the last 10.
  • 60% of illegals have not completed high school education or a GED.
  • 57% of aliens either speak English poorly, or not at all.
  • 89% speak Spanish at home.

Overall, it is fair to say that the majority of Texas’ illegal immigrants are relatively uneducated, and therefore compete with US workers at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum.

Cost of Crimes Committed By Illegal Immigrants: $1.01 Billion

The additional costs imposed by crimes committed by illegal immigrants, which include policing, court, and incarceration costs, add up to $1.01 billion, according to the study done by the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

This includes an additional $455 million for policing, $180 million for court services, and $445 million for prisons.

As significant as this is, it doesn’t begin to approach the true costs of crime, which should rightly factor in lost productivity and intangible costs such as pain and suffering, and long-term social costs (such as a reduction in community cohesion and quality of life etc.).

These intangible costs (which are never included in such studies because of their vagueness) are likely significantly higher than the tangible costs.

For example, a study which estimated the average intangible costs of crimes (2008 dollars) shows that the real cost is much higher than the calculated costs for most crimes—especially for violent and sexual crimes.

The intangible costs are estimated based on special damages awarded by court proceedings.

Education For Illegal Immigrants Costs $7.87 Billion

Anchor babies and undocumented children make education more expensive by crowding classrooms. This, in turn, reduces the quality of said education, because bigger classrooms mean more interruptions and less one-on-one time with the teacher.

Overall, illegals make public school worse and increase its costs.

As I said earlier, there are 509,000 anchor babies and 79,000 undocumented children living in Texas, which totals 588,000 children. And since they’re not going to private schools (go figure), that means you’re paying for them.

And for those who think they shouldn’t be educated, the sad thing is that if they weren’t in schools, we’d be stuck in a bizarre Oliver Twist meets el Chapo type situation—it’s better to have them in school than on the streets (of course, it’s better to have them back in Central America than in Texas).

Given that Texas’ total public school enrollment was 5,299,728 in 2016 (247,389 were enrolled in private charter schools), this means that 11.1% of students in Texas’ public schools are children of illegal immigrants of illegal immigrants themselves.

This may not seem like a big proportion, but remember, it should be 0%.

According to Texas’s state budget, $61 billion is spent on K-12 public schools. This number does not take into account spending on student courts or education services centers.

Given that 11.1% of student are illegals, this means illegals soak up $6.77 billion in educational costs.

Additionally, many of these children don’t speak English well and need supplemental English instruction?

The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimated that for 2014, ESL lessons cost Texan taxpayers $1.1 billion.

Ignoring the inevitable increases in costs from year to year, this means educating illegal immigrants and anchor babies costs Texas at least $7.87 billion a year.

Of course, this leaves out post-secondary education grants, pre-K education, and other financial assistance given to undocumented students and children of illegal immigrants.

Healthcare For Illegal Immigrants: $1.86 Billion

Texas inevitably provides healthcare for illegal immigrants, which significantly affects the quality of care for citizens by increasing wait times and lowering the physician-to-patient ratio.

Illegal immigrants withdraw roughly $1.03 billion in Medicaid and other public healthcare services (CHIP, CSHCN). They also result in $830 million of uncompensated emergency services.

This totals $1.86 billion per year.

However, these costs don’t necessarily accurately estimate the impact of illegals on the healthcare system, since it doesn’t quantify the opportunity costs (if we invested the money in better technology, or additional doctors, rather than treating illegal immigrants) or damage caused by the burdened system (suffering caused by long waiting times in crowded hospitals etc.)

Remittance Payments Cost Texas $2.33 Billion A Year

For a more detailed explanation of remittances see this article on illegal immigration.

Basically, a remittance is when someone sends money they made in one country (America) to another (Mexico).

America loses billions of dollars in remittances every year.

This is a rough calculation, but it will give you an idea of how much illegal immigrants draw from the economy:

According to Pew Research America lost $133.6 billion in remittances in 2015: most of which were sent by either first generation immigrants or illegals (assume per capita remittances between both groups is equal).

Of this $40.9 billion was sent from the US to Mexico and Central America, presumably by people from that region.

Given that there are 11.7 million legal immigrants from Mexico, and 3.1 million from Central America living in the USA, this gives as a pool of 14.8 million legal immigrants contributing to the remittance figures.

Additionally, because 74% of illegal immigrants are from Mexico or Central America, there are likewise 8.14 million illegals contributing.

Therefore, of the total Hispanic population assumed to be paying remittances, 35% are likely illegal immigrants. This works out to illegals paying out $14.31 billion to the region annually.

If we narrow this down to Texas, where 16.25% of total Hispanic illegal immigrants live (90% of Texas’s illegal immigrants are Hispanic), then we can determine that illegal immigrants cost Texas $2.33 billion every year.

Government Administration & Services: $577 Million

Additional government administration and services costs in Texas due to illegal immigration are $577 million a year (again, according to FAIR).

This refers to things such as upkeep of parks, public recreation areas, libraries, roads, and fire departments.

This number doesn’t include intangible costs of systemic strain or adverse impacts on citizens’ qualities of life.

It also doesn’t include the effect on American citizens who need public services but can’t get them because illegal immigrants are flooding the system.

Tax Revenue: $1.27 Billion

Illegal immigrants actually do pay taxes, including consumption taxes (sales tax), property taxes, and payroll taxes. It’s estimated that they pay $1.27 billion in taxes in Texas.

This is significantly lower than what they draw from public services.

How Do We Fix It?

Three things need to be done: build the wall, deport the illegals, stop incentivizing illegal immigration.

Hopefully by now, just by looking at Texas’s cost of illegal immigration, you can see that the wall would be a good investment—especially since most of Texas’ illegals simply walked in.

But it’s not just the wall. We need to start deporting illegal immigrants at a much faster rate than they are coming in. We should start with the criminals (even though they’re all technically criminals).

This has to be done in tandem with building the wall. There’s no point to deporting illegals who will just come back in. It’s like bailing water out of a boat with holes in it; futile.

Lastly, we must stop providing welfare benefits to illegal aliens. Don’t provide them healthcare, or education, or any of it. It may sound harsh, but taxpayers in America pay for Americans to have education, not Chileans, not Saudi Arabians, and not Mexicans—whether they’re on our soil or not.

If we stopped the welfare benefits I wouldn’t be surprised if many illegals self-deported. Many of them come to mooch off the system—don’t let them and they will leave.

Bottom Line

Are Beto O’Rourke, Lupe Valdez and Veronica Escobar really fighting for whats best for Texas or are they fighting for whats best for Illegals?

Texas, much like California, cannot afford the costs of illegal immigration forever.

It’s essential that we elect officials will vote for and support President Trumps immigration goals and uphold America’s Immigration laws.

We must act now. Please vote Republican on November 6th.

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