The Fiscal Burden Of Illegal Immigration On United States Taxpayers | 2023 Cost Study

The FAIR Research 2023 Cost Study reveals the fiscal burden of illegal immigration on United States taxpayers.

Report by FAIR Research | March 2023


This cost study report is currently the only comprehensive examination of the financial impact of illegal immigration in the United States. Every day, hundreds of millions of dollars in American taxpayer money are spent on costs directly associated with illegal immigration. Only a small fraction of these costs is ever recouped from taxes paid by illegal aliens, with the rest falling on the shoulders of American citizens and legal immigrants.

Our aim in this report is to show the American people the fiscal burden of illegal immigration at every level and across nearly all aspects of life. These costs range from emergency medical care to in-state tuition; from incarcerating illegal aliens in local jails to federal budgets that pay out billions in welfare every year. Because there are so many different ways that money is spent on illegal aliens at both the state and local levels, the information in our report is otherwise hard to find (or even intentionally hidden). This report supersedes FAIR’s 2017 cost study and highlights massive increases in spending related to illegal immigration that were implemented while American citizens deal with an uncertain economy.

The Number of Illegal Immigrants in the US

Estimating the fiscal burden of illegal immigration on the U.S. taxpayer depends on the size and characteristics of the illegal alien population. FAIR defines “illegal alien” as anyone who entered the United States without authorization or anyone who unlawfully remains once his/her authorization has expired. Unfortunately, the U.S. government has no central database containing information on the citizenship status of everyone lawfully present in the United States.

The overall problem of estimating the illegal alien population is further complicated by the fact that the majority of available sources on immigration status rely on self-reported data. Given that illegal aliens have a motive to lie about their immigration status in order to avoid discovery, the accuracy of these statistics is dubious at best. All of the foregoing issues make it very difficult to assess the current illegal alien population of the United States.

However, FAIR now estimates that there were at least 15.5 million illegal alien residents as of the beginning of 2022. This estimate takes into account drastic, ongoing increases in illegal immigration under the Biden administration. This estimate also includes some categories of individuals without legal status, like DACA recipients and parolees, who are illegal aliens under law but misleadingly excluded from many estimates. For more information on how we reached this figure, refer to the FAIR study “How Many Illegal Aliens Live in the United States?”

The Yerik Israel Toney Foundation revealed that homeless Vietnam veterans were booted from hotels to make room for illegals.

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