Deporting All Illegal Aliens, Rather Than Granting Amnesty, Would Save America At Least $599 Billion
A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies found that deporting illegal immigrants, despite the heavy up-front cost, is far cheaper in the long run. Deportation makes economic sense.
The average cost of deportation, as reported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was $10,854 in the fiscal year 2016. Furthermore, the costs can be scaled—ICE deported 71% more aliens in 2012 at roughly the same cost per head.
Compare this to the lifetime net fiscal costs of the average illegal immigrant of $65,292 for each illegal immigrant. This number is derived from a report penned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on the subject.
Some points to note: this number excludes costs associated with the decedents of illegal immigrants, and is therefore low. Schooling is the single-greatest cost of illegal immigration, and it is not included in this figure. This number is a bare-bones estimate of the cost of illegal immigrants.
Given these figures, we can calculate the total savings that deportation (assuming everyone only needed to be deported once) entails, as opposed to granting amnesty to illegal aliens.
First, there are at minimum 11.1 million illegal immigrants in America. This is the “official” figure, but it likely underestimates the true number of illegal aliens by a factor of three. That is, there are probably over 30 million illegal aliens residing in the USA.
Using the low estimate (so as not to offend our more liberal readers), the total cost of deporting 11.1 million illegal aliens works out to $119 billion. This is a large figure, no question.
However, the cost of allow illegal aliens to reside in the USA works out to some $718 billion—roughly six-times as expensive.
This means that deporting illegal aliens, as opposed to granting them amnesty, would save America a net $599 billion—money that should be going to repairing our crumbling infrastructure, investing in science, education etc.
Of course, it can be argued that these costs are incomplete. For example, it does not factor in the costs of the wall, or other immigration reforms needed to ensure we deny illegals re-entry into America. However, it also does not include many of the other costs associated with illegal immigration, like welfare for displaced citizen workers, or education.
All things equal, the estimate is relatively fair. Amnesty would cost America much more than deportation. Period.