Tags: Immigration | illegal immigration | cost | West Virginia

Cost of Illegal Immigration in West Virginia

By    |   Thursday, 15 Oct 2015 03:57 PM

The small number of illegal immigrants working in West Virginia contributes to tax revenues for the state. However, the cost to taxpayers puts a bigger burden on residents to handle the required services for illegal immigration.

Unauthorized immigrants represented about 0.2 percent of the state’s population in 2012, the Pew Research Center reported. The American Immigration Council reported that illegal immigrants paid $3.8 million in state and local taxes that year, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy. Tax revenues included $3 million in sales tax with the remaining amount spent on state income taxes and property taxes.

The cost to West Virginia taxpayers was estimated at $71 million a year in 2010, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform. The estimate for welfare programs for illegal aliens was $17.9 million a year while $17.7 million was spent on educating the children of illegal immigrants.

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Unreimbursed health care fees cost West Virginia taxpayers $2.1 million a year and costs for law enforcement services for illegal immigration came to $1.3 million annually. Additional costs for state and local operating services were about $32 million a year.

The state attracts fewer illegal immigrants than neighboring states with Virginia’s illegals representing 3.2 percent of the population and Pennsylvania’s undocumented immigrants being 1.4 percent of the population, according to a 2013 article in the Mountaineer News Service.

The lower amount was attributed to a lack of lower-paying job opportunities illegal immigrants often seek, said Michael C. Blumental, a visiting professor of law at West Virginia University and co-director of the Immigration Law Clinic. The state’s naturalized citizen rate was 46 percent, about the same as the national average because of a high rate of educated immigrants.

The Migration Policy Institute reported that the number of immigrants with college degrees in West Virginia increased by more than 14 percent between 2000 and 2011.

The low number of unauthorized immigrants in the state still accounted for some $26.6 million in economic activity, according to an analysis by the Perryman Group.

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The small number of illegal immigrants working in West Virginia contributes to tax revenues for the state. However, the cost to taxpayers puts a bigger burden on residents to handle the required services for illegal immigration.
illegal immigration, cost, West Virginia
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2015-57-15
Thursday, 15 Oct 2015 03:57 PM
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