Immigration Issues

The Cost of Illegal Immigration to Marylanders (2012)

Executive Summary

Maryland's policy towards illegal aliens has resulted in a fast growing illegal alien population and a rapidly increasing fiscal burden on the state's taxpayers. Unsatisfied with the accommodations already in place for illegal aliens, the state legislature adopted a measure in 2011 (SB 167) that allows illegal aliens to extend their taxpayer-funded education beyond public elementary and secondary schooling to higher education. The state's voters will have the opportunity to decide in the November 2012 election whether they want to reverse this policy. 

This updated study on what illegal immigration costs Maryland taxpayers includes the following findings:

  • The state's taxpayers currently pay nearly $1.9 billion in taxes because of the presence of an estimated 295,000 illegal aliens plus nearly 68,000 children born in the United States to illegal aliens.
  • In-state tuition for illegal aliens in post-secondary schools will cost the state's taxpayers more than $28 million annually under the 2011 legislation if approved by the voters. This cost to taxpayers will increase as more illegals aliens move to Maryland.  
  • The average Maryland household headed by an American or legal resident shares an annual burden of about $910 to cover the costs of the state's illegal alien population. 
  • Because more than two-thirds of the cost of illegal immigration in Maryland is for education (see chart), and much of that cost is funded locally, the fiscal cost burden is heavier where the illegal alien population is greatest. Montgomery and Prince George's county taxpayers have a greater than average annual burden ($1,420 and $1,025 respectively). 
  • Illegal aliens pay relatively little in taxes, mainly because of their low earnings. We estimate that the state receives approximately $119 million in tax collections from illegal aliens — only a fraction the costs of illegal immigration borne by the taxpayers.

Read the full report in pdf format.


May 2012