Oklahoma taxpayers bear a cost estimated at more than $465 million annually due to illegal immigration, putting them toward the middle among the nation’s states.
An estimate published in December 2014 by the Pew Hispanic Center indicated
the illegal immigrant population in the Sooner State was 100,000 in 2012.
Figures provided by the Federation for American Immigration Reform
were a bit lower, as FAIR reported that Oklahoma as of 2010 was the home of an estimated 85,000 unlawful immigrants.
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FAIR estimated the annual fiscal costs borne by Oklahoma’s taxpayers because of illegal immigration were $465,245,736.
Oklahoma's fiscal costs for illegal immigration ranked the 26th-highest such total among U.S. states, according to FAIR
Government entities provided four types of benefits relevant to determining fiscal costs of immigration, according to The Heritage Foundation
- Public education, which was largely free or heavily subsidized for parents with low incomes
- Welfare programs, which provided food, housing, cash, medical, and other services to about 100 million low-income U.S. residents
- Direct benefits such as workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, Medicare, and Social Security
- Population-based services such as parks, highways, and police and fire protection, which must be expanded when a community’s population increases
The average U.S. household in 2010 received $31,584 in government benefits and services in these four categories, according to The Heritage Foundation.
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To illustrate how costly illegal immigration proved, the foundation claimed U.S. households headed by a person with a college education on average in 2010 received $24,839 in government benefits and paid $54,089 in taxes — amounting to a fiscal surplus of $29,250.
At the same time, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services and paid $10,334 in taxes, bringing a fiscal deficit of $14,387.
FAIR estimated Oklahoma’s annual illegal immigration expenses included $245.79 million for education, $99.45 million for social assistance, $37.19 million for justice-related costs, and $82.81 million for other expenses.
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