The Price of Open Borders

September 28, 2023
Andrew McVeigh
Biden Administration, Greg Abbott, Illegal Immigration, Joe Biden, Taxes

The Fiscal Implications of an Unsecured Border and Illegal Immigration 


That’s how many illegal immigrants were encountered on our southern border in August alone, with over 181,000 apprehensions.

That is up from 183,494 encounters in July and 144,570 in June.

These totals bring the overall number of illegal immigrant encounters nationwide up to more than 2.86 million for 2023 thus far, according to statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection

If these numbers seem a little elusive, let’s put everything into perspective.

Since Joe Biden entered the White House at the beginning of 2021 (less than three full years ago), more than 7.3 million illegal immigrants have been encountered at the United States border. This only includes the known illegal immigrants and not those who have evaded detection. Which is more than the populations of 38 different states. At this rate, we are on track for that number to reach roughly ten million by the end of Biden’s first term in office.  

Border States, like Texas, are bearing the brunt of this. While many will debate the illegal immigration issue more broadly, most have yet to consider the mere financial cost, the fiscal burden, that unsecured borders and illegal aliens are exacting on hardworking citizen taxpayers, particularly Texas taxpayers. 

From a simple security and safety perspective, Biden’s failure to uphold the law and secure the border is costing billions. Not only are billions in federal tax dollars wasted, but Texas spends billions trying, although mostly unsuccessfully, to stand in the gap.

In the 2021 Texas State budget, nearly $3 billion was allocated for a variety of border security-specific purposes. Now, the new budget passed earlier this year allocates more than $5.1 billion for border security efforts. All because Joe Biden refuses to protect America’s border here at home. 

There are other costs and illegal immigrant magnets as well:

The cost of medical expenses for illegal immigrants and their children was roughly $1.2 billion in Texas last year.  

Crime committed by illegal immigrants cost Texas taxpayers more than $1.7 billion in 2022, according to research by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). 

The burden put on Texas taxpayers for public education of illegals in the 2022-2023 school year exceeded $6.6 billion.

Welfare services obtained by illegals reach over $172 million.  

Plus, despite two decades of republican control of the State Legislature, Texas still provides in-state tuition for illegals at our institutions of higher education such as at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas in Austin.

More recently, even Governor Abbott’s busing program, where tax dollars are used to transport, via bus, thousands of illegals deeper into the country, is adding to the costs. While this program might help to temporarily relieve some of the pressure on Texas’ border towns, it provides a strong incentive for illegals, knowing there is a good chance they can receive free, easy transportation farther north.

For Texas, because of the simple nature of the issue, it is difficult to gauge precise, total costs to taxpayers. According to an analysis by the Huffines Liberty Foundation, the total cost to support illegal aliens to Texas taxpayers is more than $10 billion. Add in the roughly $2.5 billion that the State spends on border security efforts each fiscal year, the total cost quickly approaches $13 billion per year. 

Nationally, the numbers and statistics are still hard to quantify. A recent study by FAIR  estimated that the national cost, the tax burden on citizens and legal residents, was more than $150.7 Billion (that already takes into consideration the $32 billion that illegals contribute in taxes) every year, and growing.

These costs are not sustainable. Especially at a time when Texas taxpayers are already struggling under the weight of property taxes, inflation, and a poor economy. The open-door policies of Biden must be remedied, or else the strain will become unbearable.

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