Immigration Issues

The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Aliens on Washingtonians (2012)


Executive Summary

Washington's accommodating policy towards illegal aliens has resulted in a fast growing illegal alien population and a rapidly increasing fiscal burden on the state's taxpayers. With the state budget adding an additional $2.7 billion of debt this year, the need to reduce the costs to the taxpayer from illegal immigration should be obvious to lawmakers.

This study, examining what illegal immigration costs Washington taxpayers, includes the following findings:

  • The state's taxpayers bear an annual burden of more than $2.7 billion as a result of an estimated 275,000 illegal aliens plus nearly 104,000 U.S.-born children of illegal aliens of whom about 78,000 are school-aged.
  • The combined K-12 fiscal burden for the children of illegal aliens in regular instruction and supplemental instruction amounts to nearly $1.6 billion annually.
  • Justice and law enforcement costs result in a net outlay of about $176 million. These outlays include policing, court and prison costs.
  • Health care and social assistance programs add additional costs of $652 million.
  • The average Washington household headed by a U.S. citizen bears an annual burden of about $970 to cover the costs of the state's illegal alien population.
  • Illegal aliens pay relatively little in taxes because of their low earnings and work in the underground economy. We estimate they pay about $203 million in state and local taxes — 7.4 percent of the estimated burden.

Read the full report in pdf format.