New Mexico Taxpayers Foot $717 Million Annual Bill for Illegal Immigration, Finds New Study by FAIR

Feb 08, 2013, 12:25 ET from FAIR

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that illegal immigration costs taxpayers in New Mexico about $717 million annually. The average New Mexico household headed by a U.S. citizen bears an annual burden of about $1,000 to cover the costs associated with illegal aliens in the state.


The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Aliens on New Mexicans examines the cost of providing services and benefits to the state's 100,000 illegal aliens and more than 30,000 dependent U.S.-born children. The report also looks at the costs associated with the administration of criminal justice and incarceration of criminal illegal aliens.

Among the key findings of The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Aliens on New Mexicans:

  • The cost of providing K-12 education to the children of illegal aliens (including students who are themselves illegal and the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens) amounts to $438 million annually. Additionally, the cost of supplemental English language instruction is $54 million a year.
  • Unreimbursed health care and social assistance programs cost New Mexicans $108 million a year.
  • Justice and law enforcement costs associated with illegal aliens add $76 million to the state's tab.
  • The cost of general public services provided to New Mexico's 100,000 illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children adds $42 million a year to the state's costs.

"New Mexico lawmakers have laid out the welcome mat for illegal aliens, while struggling New Mexico taxpayers are getting stuck with the bills," observed Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "At the state and local level, political leaders have bent over backwards to accommodate and welcome illegal aliens. In fact, New Mexico has gone the extra mile on behalf of illegal aliens, as one of only two states that offers driver's licenses to illegal aliens, making the state not only a magnet for illegal immigration, but also for fraud."

Gov. Susanna Martinez has attempted to repeal New Mexico's policy of issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens but has been rebuffed by the State Legislature. At the same time, major jurisdictions around the state maintain official or de facto sanctuary policies that protect illegal aliens.

The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Aliens on New Mexicans estimates that illegal aliens pay about $34 million in taxes to the state each year, representing less than 5 percent of their cost. However, the report explains that the state would likely realize much greater tax revenues if New Mexico jobs held by illegal aliens were filled by legal workers.

"It is time that state officials begin reckoning with the true costs of their policy decisions with regard to illegal immigration," stated Stein. "While states lack the authority to regulate immigration, there are many things that they can do to discourage illegal aliens from settling within their jurisdictions. In recent years other states have demonstrated that sensible policies can reduce the illegal alien population and associated costs. Unfortunately, New Mexico officials seem to be opting for policies that will add significantly to the current $717 million in costs each year borne by state taxpayers."

The full report, The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Aliens on New Mexicans, is available at

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a national, nonprofit, public-interest, membership organization of concerned citizens who share a common belief that our nation's immigration policies must be reformed to serve the national interest.

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