Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A quick note on the state costs of immigration 

My good friend the Lady Logician has posted on True North about the cost of illegal immigration to state budgets. The report she cites from CBO was noted last month by CBO director Peter Orszag on his blog.
Many state and local governments incur costs for services associated with unauthorized immigrants, particularly in the areas of education, health care, and law enforcement. Some of those costs are incurred because of rules governing federal programs, court decisions, and state-level statutory or constitutional requirements. CBO�s review of the literature finds that the amount of spending involved is a small share of total state and local spending on these services, but the tax revenue collected from unauthorized immigrants at the state and local level does not offset the costs involved. The result is probably a modest negative net impact on state and local budgets.
Emphases mine. For the state of Minnesota, a document released by the Pawlenty administration in 2005 put the net cost to the state budget at $148-188 million (including $17 million for public health), out of a budget of $30 billion. Approximately $39 million of that were education expenditures for children who were citizens but whose parents were undocumented. Eliminating ALL those costs would have reduced the FY04-05 state budget by 0.63%. Not exactly an overwhelming figure.

There are enough arguments for controlling immigration without making mountains out of molehills.

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