Immigration Issues

The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Aliens on New Mexicans (2013)

 

Executive Summary

Click here to read the full report in PDF.

New Mexico has a growing illegal alien population, and a growing fiscal burden on its legal residents resulting from the services provided to illegal aliens and their dependents. At the same time state policies encourage additional illegal immigration by offering benefits and services to illegal aliens, including being one of only two states that issues them driver's licenses. This report identifies more than $717 million in annual fiscal costs borne by the state's taxpayers because of the illegal alien population.

Key findings are these:

  • The cost of providing K-12 education the children of illegal aliens (including students who are themselves illegal and the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens) amounts to $438 million annually. Additionally, the cost of supplemental English language instruction is $54 million a year.
  • Unreimbursed health care and social assistance programs cost New Mexicans $108 million a year.
  • Justice and law enforcement costs associated with illegal aliens add $76 million to the state's tab.
  • The cost of general public services provided to New Mexico's illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children adds $42 million a year to the state's costs.
  • The $717 million fiscal burden from illegal immigration costs taxpayers in New Mexico an average of about $1,000 per New Mexico household headed by a U.S. citizen.

State lawmakers have available the means to reduce that burden, and foremost should be terminating the provision of driver's licenses to illegal aliens, and effectively denying jobs to those without legal work status.