Mapping The Fiscal Burden Of Illegal Immigration On Each State


There’s a lot of confusion and misunderstanding out there around the economic impact of illegal immigration in the United States. We decided to bring some clarity around the issue by mapping new numbers on the estimated costs of illegal immigration on a state-by-state basis.

Our viz takes data from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) about how much illegal immigration costs in each state. FAIR takes into account a variety of different expenditures, like healthcare, education and refundable tax credits. We mapped these numbers across the United States according to a color-coded scale. Purple and dark red states have comparatively high expenditures, but the pink and blue states spend relatively less money because of illegal immigrants.

There are two interesting trends you can see from looking at the data in this way.

  • First, states that spend the most on illegal immigration tend to be located close to Mexico. Looking at out map, the two states with the highest expenditures are California ($23B) and Texas ($11B), both sharing long borders with Mexico. In fact, there’s a cluster of dark red states stretching along the Southwest. States closest to the phenomenon pay the most as a result.
  • Second, states with higher population levels tend to spend more than their less populated counterparts. You can see a group of high-expenditure states clustered around the Northeast, not to mention Illinois and Florida. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, California and Texas are also the two most populous states in the country. High population levels and proximity to Mexico act like a double-whammy for illegal immigration expenses.

Now take a look at the places with relatively low levels of expenditures for illegal immigration, the light blue states. They are all located far away from the U.S.-Mexico border with relatively small population levels. West Virginia is perhaps an exceptional state, seeing that it is surrounded by red and dark red. We can speculate that this is likely due to the fact that West Virginia has a struggling economy which actually contracted last year.

We should add that the source for the numbers in our viz come from a partisan outfit. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) advocates for legislation designed to decrease immigration, and you can poke holes in their methodology. For example, suppose immigrants really are paying less in income taxes because of their illegal status. Forbes estimates that granting them amnesty would actually boost their state tax contributions by $2.1 billion. That’s the exact opposite conclusion than what FAIR would like you to believe.

That being said, here’s a list breaking down the States with the highest expenditures for illegal immigration according to FAIR.

1. California - $23,038,125,353

2. Texas - $10,994,614,550

3. New York - $7,489,141,357

4. Florida - $6,290,429,108

5. New Jersey - $4,466,838,574

6. Illinois - $3,220,767,517

7. Georgia - $2,487,719,503

8. North Carolina - $2,437,965,113

9. Maryland - $2,378,996,947

10.   Arizona - $2,314,131,964

Remember, these numbers only look at the net expenditures that states spend on illegal immigration, and they say nothing about other contributions to the economy. Any way you cut it though, whenever states are spending billions of dollars on something, it’s worth taking a hard look at where the money is going and why.


Dr. Engali Wed, 11/29/2017 - 23:47 Permalink

Bah! Who cares? We have Janet and her magic printing press. Print us up some fiat and bake us some cookies grandma. We have some friends coming from the south of the border.

DeputyDan DistronMan Dr. Engali Thu, 11/30/2017 - 11:52 Permalink

10 times cash, 100 times trade!  10 times cash, 100 times trade!For example...if you incarcerate an illegal at $100,000 per year.....that government owes the US $1,000,000 in cash.  If.... in this example the Mexican government refuses the US IMMEDIATELY wipes out $10,000,000 in trade.  With just a small percentage incarcerated the US could wipe out Mexican debt within a few short years AND pay for that bogus wall trump citizens will receive bounties for the incarcerations totalling upwards of $50,000 PER INDIVIDUAL!  Just one van of illegals turned in and a US citizen could retire for life! EVERYONE will be hunting down illegals.  Mexicans and pretty much all illegal aliens will leave this country as quickly as possible.

In reply to by Dr. Engali

ebworthen Wed, 11/29/2017 - 23:49 Permalink

It's a boon for the banks/corporations/insurers, politicians, and elites who need household help.It screws everyone else, but hey, who do you think runs the plantation?

wisehiney ebworthen Wed, 11/29/2017 - 23:56 Permalink

The workers I meet.Asians are not militant.But some hispanic are.But they, as I always have.Are thankful that they may not be stronger, or smarter or richer.But, BY GOD, I can out work the bastards.Is what I lived by.And is so American.And decent, honest, hard working, true blue, fuck you.I would trade them for the pale face little fags.That turn up their nose and ridiculeA hard working, laughing son of a gun.Them them.Fuck them.Off your ass.And on your feet.Out of the shade.And into the heat. 

In reply to by ebworthen

MuffDiver69 Wed, 11/29/2017 - 23:52 Permalink

W was a complete moron, but no President- let alone country outside war ever deliberately set out to flood his country like Obama. The one terrorist who mowed down eight people recently in NYC sponsored 22 other scum and he hit Schumer’s diversity lotto in 2010...Those numbers above don’t cover half the scope of what’s happened...BTW I have a hunting/fishing camp in West Virginia and it’s sweet and white...

Mini-Me Wed, 11/29/2017 - 23:53 Permalink

This is not hard.  End welfare for non-citizens (ideally for citizens too).  Anyone coming here would be contributing, not sucking on the government teat.But that would eat into the Demo voting totals.  Can't have that!

Anteater Mini-Me Thu, 11/30/2017 - 00:00 Permalink

Red States with Unemployed White People and their Kidsare 10x greater tax burden at both State and Federal level.Red States are Welfare States. Take more then they tax.Unemployed White People are 77% of those welfare bums.But that's nothing compared to the White-Jews in Mil.Gov,that's $4,000B a year blowing up our National Treasury.

In reply to by Mini-Me

Dirtnapper Wed, 11/29/2017 - 23:56 Permalink

Does this also count the massive amount of welfare fraud the illegal aliens are comitting?  As an example, they get multiple IDs so they can register their family for welfare 2 or 3 or more  times.  If you were wondering just how illegal aliens were able to drive nice new cars, it's all on your back.   You work, they laugh.

YourAverageJoe Thu, 11/30/2017 - 00:15 Permalink

I could be wrong, but it seems the government of California loves its illegal aliens and would probably be proud of having the darkest color on the map....Texas is the second darkest, but as a Texan I will tell you to your face that I nor anyone I know, Hispanic friends included, have no desire to have people here in Texas or America that disrespect our rules and are here to take, not contribute.I would like very much, to tie every politician responsible for this mess to be tied to a pole, and I be given the priveledge of flaying the flesh from their backs with a cat o'nine tails, with each tail tipped with a steel hook.Oh there I go again, posting while drinking.....

Déjà view YourAverageJoe Thu, 11/30/2017 - 00:38 Permalink

"Our rules"...change 'em when Federal are broken...STATE RIGHTS?

Federal Background

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 (Sec. 505) sought to prohibit states from providing a postsecondary education benefit to an alien not lawfully present in the United States on the basis of residence unless any U.S. citizen or national is eligible for the same benefit. (P.L. 104-208).  The Congressional Research Service noted that there is disagreement about the meaning of the provision.  There is no guidance in congressional report language or in federal regulations.

These states currently have statutes that condition eligibility for instate tuition on attendance and graduation from a state high school and acceptable college admission applications.  In June 2001, Texas (HB1403) was the first state to pass legislation allowing in-state tuition for immigrant students, followed by California (AB540), Utah (HB144), and New York (SB7784) in 2001-2002; Washington (HB1079), Illinois (HB60) in 2003; Kansas (HB2145) in 2004; New Mexico (SB582) in 2005; Nebraska (LB239) in 2006; Wisconsin (A75) in 2009; Maryland (S167/H470); Connecticut (H6390) in 2011 and Colorado (S33), Minnesota (S1236), New Jersey (S2479) and Oregon (H2787) in 2013. The state laws permit these students to become eligible for in-state tuition if they graduate from state high schools, have two to three years residence in the state, and apply to a state college or university. The student may be required to sign an affidavit promising to seek legal immigration status.  These requirements for unauthorized immigrant students are stricter than the residency requirements for out-of-state students to gain in-state tuition.

In 2003, Oklahoma passed SB 596 allowing instate tuition, but in 2008, HB 1804 was enacted, which ended its in-state tuition benefit, including financial aid, for students without lawful presence in the United States. HB1804 allowed the Oklahoma State Regents to enroll a student in higher education institutions permitted that they meet special requirements.

In 2009, Wisconsin added  instate tuition for unauthorized immigrants in the 2009-2011 budget law; it was ended in the 2011-2013 budget law.

In 2011, Maryland enacted legislation allowing instate tuition for unauthorized immigrant students provided they meet certain conditions, including the completion of 60 credit hours or graduation from a community college in Maryland. The law was put on the 2012 ballot and on November 6, Maryland voters approved the ballot measure 59 to 41 percent.

In July, 2011, California enacted legislation permitting unauthorized immigrant students to receive state financial aid and scholarships (A130), joining New Mexico (S582, 2005) and Texas (H1403, 2001).  On Feb. 18, 2014, the Washington legislature approved legislation to expand the state need grants for certain unauthorized immigrant students.  The governor is expected to sign the legislation (S6523).

In addition, several state university systems established policy to offer instate tuition rates to unauthorized immigrant students, such as the Hawai’i Board of Regents (2013), Michigan Board of Regents (2013) and Rhode Island Board of Governors (2011).

===States that have barred unauthorized immigrant students from in-state tuition benefits include Alabama (HB56, 2011), Arizona (Proposition 300, 2006), Colorado (HB 1023, 2006), Georgia (SB 492, 2008), South Carolina (HB4400, 2008), and Indiana (H 1402, 2011).===…

Press UNO for Español...dos for Tejas...

Si Señor!

In reply to by YourAverageJoe

dchang0 YourAverageJoe Thu, 11/30/2017 - 05:35 Permalink

Yet, with TX's spendng on illegal aliens so high, clearly there ARE some Texans that support having the mooches on the public dole. Who are these people? Who are the politicians they vote for?They should be called out and, as you rightly suggest, tied to a pole and flayed for stealing from our kids and grandkids to buy votes so they can gain ill-gotten wealth through political connections and the immoral use of gov't force, wealth which they will pass down to only their kids and grandkids.So this is really all a war between the politicians' descendents and the taxpayers' descendents for money not yet earned.

In reply to by YourAverageJoe