This week, the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether to count self-identified illegal immigrants in the 2020 census. Cities worry adding the citizenship question could undercount 6.5 million people. Their argument, however, isn’t just about political power but billions of dollars in federal funds states expect.
The case underscores what experts say is a growing cost to taxpayers from the surge of Central American families and unaccompanied minors.
“We’re talking about billions of dollars in taxpayer benefits over the next few years,” said Dan Stein, director of the right-leaning think tank, Federation for American Immigration Reform. “The payout for the taxpayer is enormous and income to the Treasury is miniscule.” . . .
While federal benefits are supposed to be off limits, in practice many are not. More than 25,000 undocumented workers receive subsidized housing, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Children receive free education and most qualify for English lessons and free school breakfast and lunch.
Illegal immigrants do not qualify for Obamacare but under federal law, hospitals and clinics are required to provide urgent medical care without regard to legal status. Pregnant women are entitled to prenatal and postpartum care under the Women, Infants and Children program. Infant delivery costs are paid for by Medicaid. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a federal-state immigrant insurance program cost $2 billion a year in emergency treatment, not including the $1.24 billion in infant delivery expenses. (Read more from “Most Illegal Aliens in U.S. Receive Government Benefits” HERE)