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These two talking heads keep clouding issue with "we can't", until recently the feds have had no motivation to enforce its own immigration laws. Now they can't ignore the problem without action by states and citizen groups. Here are the facts in Texas as best we can tell.
I hope to put some perspective on the Mexican border issue that is missed in the media. This is not a new problem to those of us that grew up in the Rio Grand Valley Texas. I grew up farming and ranching with people from every walk of life. My family has essentially been on the same land since 1780. Despite influxes of Mexicans, then Indians, then "Yankees" twice, we have managed to get along. And we manage to get along to this day.
Are the people that come across the border illegally a problem, the short answer is yes. They are a problem because they cost each Texas household approximately $1200 in additional state and local taxes. Over the last 6 months several of us old Texans attempted to extend and verify the work of CIS (www.cis.org) and FAIR (www.fairus.org) focusing on the costs to the Texas. At the outset we believe the number of illegal immigrants in Texas is 1.8 M, exceeding the high estimate of FAIR, which is 1.6 M. We found that FAIR used their low illegal immigrant estimate for estimating costs.
We found 4 major budget areas where the state spends on illegals; law enforcement and incarceration, education, medical reimbursement, and social welfare programs. All arrest records and incarceration are publicly available. He spent 3 months with the help of the University Texas students processing the records and found 27% of the arrests were illegal immigrant (for other than immigration issues) and 94% of those were Mexican nationals. The data also showed that 18% of the state prison population were illegals and of those 98% were Mexican nationals.
There is also a side effect of the illegal population, in the increase in black incarceration. As an increased the number of illegals have moved into the large population area of Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth, the number of younger (20 - 29) black people incarcerated has increased for drug related offenses has increased from 14% to 22% during the period 1990 to 1995.
Based on the data we estimate Texas will spend $1.6 B arresting and incarceration illegals.
Estimating the cost of educating children of illegal parents (anchor babies) is difficult because schools don't keep track of the number of illegal students. The 1982 Supreme Court decision requiring states to educate children of illegals has made it difficult to track the illegal student population. However, we found that since 1986 children of illegal immigrants can be track by birth certificates. From that information we estimate 18% of children in school are illegal. The recent (2006 - 2007) state education budget is $47.8 B. According to state information that covers about 40% of the cost and another 60% is covered by local property taxes. T
Kennedy | 04.21.06 - 7:08 am | #