Cost Study and Zogby Poll Offer Comprehensive Statewide Assessment
(June 15, 2009 - Washington, D.C.) - Simultaneous studies, released this week by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), document the true costs of illegal immigration in Virginia and demonstrate strong voter objections to the burdens placed on them by illegal immigration. A new Zogby International poll of 606 likely voters across the state found that, by a large margin, Virginians believe that illegal immigration is harming their state. Their perceptions are rooted in reality. A separate FAIR study, the Costs of Illegal Immigration to Virginians found that providing education and health care to illegal aliens and their families, and incarcerating criminal illegal aliens, costs state taxpayers nearly $1.7 billion annually.
The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Virginians found that taxpayers spend:
- $ 1.56 billion a year to educate illegal immigrant children and the U.S. born children of illegal immigrants.
- $ 100 million a year on unreimbursed health care for illegal aliens.
- $ 45 million a year to incarcerate criminal illegal aliens.
- The total represents an annual cost to each of Virginia's native-born headed households of $ 625.
The cost study is based on an estimate that the illegal alien population in Virginia is now 295,000 persons. This represents 2.3 percent of the national total illegal alien population, and it is the nation's 10th largest concentration of illegal aliens. It is also about 3.8 percent of Virginia's overall population.
The Zogby poll found that:
- 56% of Virginia voters say illegal immigration has a negative impact on the state. Only 24% believe it has a positive impact on Virginia.
- 78% of Virginia voters believe illegal aliens have a negative impact on the state budget, versus only 8% who believe their impact is positive.
- 55% believe illegal immigration should be reduced through better enforcement of immigration laws. Only 35% of Virginia voters favor amnesty or legalization for current illegal aliens.
- 66% of Virginia voters want worksite immigration enforcement to continue. Only 20% support the Obama administration's decision to curtail worksite enforcement.
"Voters in Virginia, like voters everywhere, want their elected officials in Washington and Richmond to protect their interests, their jobs, and their tax dollars from the impact of mass illegal immigration," said Dan Stein, President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). "At a time when the Obama administration is intent on systematically dismantling immigration enforcement, and congressional leaders are considering a new round of amnesty legislation, voters in this key state are saying unequivocally that it is time political leaders stopped pandering to the illegal immigration lobby, and started enforcing laws that serve the interests of ordinary Americans."
Also see: Costs of Illegal Immigration to Virginians, the Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on US Taxpayers, and a summary of the Zogby International Polling results.