Illegal Immigration Costs Florida $4.3 Billion a Year

A report by an immigration reform group shows that illegal immigration costs the state of Florida at least $4.3 billion a year in health care, education and incarceration costs.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) predicts the state’s costs of illegal immigration will increase to nearly $8 billion a year within 10 years unless it is controlled.

“Average Floridians are being asked to pay dearly for the failure of the federal government to control illegal immigration, and for a small number of business interests in the state addicted to low-wage illegal alien labor,” said Dan Stein, president of FAIR, in a statement.

“The $4.3 billion being spent on illegal immigrants and their families means those resources are not available to improve and upgrade Florida’s woefully overcrowded schools and overburdened public hospitals,” said Stein.

“Nor are those funds available for urgent infrastructure repairs needed as a result of the succession of devastating hurricanes that ravaged the state in the last several years,” Stein added.

FAIR used Census and other data to estimate the size of Florida’s illegal immigrant population to be 630,000, which is larger than the populations of Tampa and St. Petersburg combined.

The costs to Floridians, according to the report, is more than $4 billion a year in providing public education to the children of illegal immigrants, about $165 million a year in non-reimbursed costs for health care, and about $155 million a year to jail illegal aliens in county and state correctional facilities.

“In reality, low-wage illegal alien labor is prohibitively expensive, when the costs of vital public services are factored into the equation,” Stein saidd. “Average Floridians are being forced to subsidize illegal immigration and the burden will increase rapidly unless federal, state and local governments begin working together to stem the massive influx.”

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