State and local governments in Ohio receive tax revenue from illegal immigrants, but the cost of illegal immigration puts a burden on the state’s taxpayers. Illegal immigrants are funded through tax dollars for education, medical care, law enforcement activities, and other government services.
The costs for those services were estimated at $879 million a year, according to a 2012 analysis by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)
. That would amount to $200 per household in Ohio.
Education costs for 9,480 illegal immigrant children and 25,375 U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants was estimated at $364 million for K-12 public schools. Limited English proficiency instruction for many of these children cost an additional $145 million, FAIR reported.
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Medical services accounted for $84 million and welfare costs were $81 million a year. FAIR also reported that the $79 million spent annually for law enforcement expenditures included $32 million for prison costs to accommodate 780 incarcerated illegal aliens in the state.
The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy concluded that unauthorized immigrants paid $72.8 million in state and local taxes in 2010, and that they would add more than $20 million more if they received legal status, the American Immigration Council reported
. However, this amount would still fall far short of state expenditures.
Still, the Perryman Group reported
that the state would lose $4 billion in economic activity without unauthorized immigrants. Unauthorized immigrants made up 1.1 percent of the state’s labor force, or 65,000 workers, in 2012, according to the Pew Research Center
The burden to Ohio law enforcement because of illegal immigrants was publicized in 2014 when Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones sent a letter to Mexico’s president and secretary of foreign affairs, demanding $900,000 for “dealing with your criminals,” according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
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Jones stated reviews of records for his jail revealed the sheriff’s department had arrested more than 3,000 illegal immigrants from Mexico during a 10-year period. Jones based his costs on the average five-day stay in jail for the prisoners before they were released or turned over to federal immigration authorities.
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