New Report from FAIR: Spending on Illegal Aliens Nearly Rivals Money Spent on the Needs of Veterans
FAIR Newsletter | Article 3 of 6 | April 2020 | Visit Our Newsletter Page | Full PDF Version
Our government officials claim to honor our veterans — men and women who have served in our armed forces, fought in wars, and sacrificed to protect our nation’s interests and our freedoms. However, a new analysis by FAIR finds that government spending on illegal aliens and their dependents is approaching, on a per capita basis, what we allocate to meet the needs of veterans.
Currently, the United States allocates $217 billion a year to address the needs and provide care for our 19.5 million veterans. That figure is about $26 billion shy of what it will cost to meet the needs of veterans in the coming fiscal year. At the same time, the country is spending about $132 billion a year to provide services and benefits for an estimated illegal alien population of 14.3 million and their dependents. On a per capita basis, we now spend about $9,200 a year on illegal aliens and their families and about $11,100 on the needs of veterans.
Veterans, of course, have earned the assistance they receive from American taxpayers. Many struggle with mental health, physical health, and other issues owing to their service in combat. As a result, veterans, as a group, have greater needs for care – needs that have often been neglected. The results have been higher rates of homelessness, and alcohol and substance abuse among veterans is higher than the population as a whole. These inadequately addressed problems of veterans also make it more difficult for them to find and hold jobs, which in turn leads to higher rates of poverty.
But even as the veterans who political leaders claim to honor struggle, many of those leaders are devoting more of our scarce resources to the interests and demands of illegal aliens. A few glaring examples pointed to in FAIR’s report include:
- Veterans needing health care in California can wait nearly 100 days to see a provider. At the same time, the California Legislature dedicated an additional $98 million to grant health care benefits to illegal aliens between the ages of 19 and 25 last year. In April, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed state funding to earmark $125 million in assistance to illegal aliens as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Across the country, state and local governments have established legal defense funds to help illegal aliens fight efforts to remove them. In the meantime, thousands of veterans in these same jurisdictions are living on the streets.
- New York State set aside $27 million a year to help illegal aliens pay for college tuition, while rejecting a few hundred thousand dollars to provide tuition assistance to the children of soldiers killed or disabled in combat.
- Spending a vast (and growing) amount of public money on illegal aliens while the needs of veterans are being neglected is indicative of a society with misplaced priorities.
The full report, Veteran Needs vs. Illegal Alien Costs can be found on FAIR’s website, Veteran Needs vs. Illegal Alien Costs.