Report Explains the Financial Cost of Illegal Immigrants for American Taxpayers

A new study from the Center for Immigration Studies reports that a border wall could save U.S. taxpayers $64 billion over the next decade. The author of the report, director of research Steven Camarota, joined Cheryl Casone of Fox Business on Friday to discuss the costs associated with illegal immigrants.

"We do have a pretty good idea based on a variety of sources of the likely education level of illegal immigrants and there is already an existing body of research that estimates the fiscal impact of illegal immigrants by education or immigrants in general," Camerota began.

"The National Academy of Sciences just did a study last year on how much immigrants pay in taxes and use in services by education," he said. "Once you know the education level of illegal immigrants and then you plug it in and you can come up with an estimate."

Casone asked Camarota to further explain how the cost of an illegal immigrant accumulates.

"So a big part of it is they just don't pay much in taxes because of their education levels and that's why the costs accumulate," Camarota said. "Because they are creating costs for everything from fire, police protection, they do get some welfare programs, healthcare costs, and then they're not paying that much even when they're paid on the books."

Discussing the opposition to immigration enforcement, Camarota blamed a small number of vocal activists.

"Because in the view of advocates for illegal aliens, if any illegal immigrant has to go home it's a tragedy. The impact on American workers, or as this study points out, the impact on taxpayers, don't concern them. What ICE is doing is trying to save taxpayers money by making illegal immigrants go home," Camarota concluded.

Update February 23, 2017, 9:38 a.m.: A previous version of this article said a border wall could save taxpayers $64 million. The study by the Center for Immigration Studies report says the wall could save taxpayers $64 billion.