The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report that found it costs more to fund illegal births in the United States every year than the annual funding spent on President Trump’s wall,
One of the most obvious and enduring impacts of immigration occurs through immigrants’ children. Long after immigrants pass on, their descendants will continue to shape the political, economic, and cultural life in the receiving society.
Examining births to immigrants is thus a way of measuring the scale of immigration and its impact on the United States. Because the United States automatically awards citizenship to all persons born in the country, including those born to temporary visitors or illegal immigrants, the overwhelming majority of these children will stay in the United States, according to CIS.
This analysis looks at births to immigrants based on an analysis of the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). It provides a good picture of births to immigrant mothers, including the mothers’ demographic characteristics.1 These characteristics allow us to estimate the likely number of births to illegal immigrants nationally, as well as births by state and by large metropolitan area, CIS reports.
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The numbers are stunning.
- The estimated 28,000 births to illegal immigrants in just the Los Angeles metro area is larger than the total number of births in 14 states and the District of Columbia.
- The states with the largest numbers of births to illegal immigrants are California with 65,000, Texas with 51,000, Florida with 16,000, Illinois with 14,000, Georgia with 13,000, New York with 12,000, and New Jersey and North Carolina with 11,000 each.
- Illegal immigrants account for more than one in seven births in the Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Jose, Dallas, and Houston metro areas. Typically between two-thirds and three-fourths of these births are likely paid for by taxpayers.
- The state with the highest share of births to illegal immigrants is Nevada, at nearly one in six. Births to illegal immigrants account for one in seven births in California and Texas.
The Daily Caller reports:
The CIS report revealed that female illegal immigrants in the U.S. had 297,000 children in 2014 — costing $2.4 billion. As the Washington Examiner notes, Congress has approved $1.6 billion in 2018 to build the wall. Although that’s not enough to finish the project, the political fight to obtain greater funding has been shelved until after the midterm elections — and could result in gridlock between the executive and legislative branches of the government.
Although illegal immigrants are not supposed to be receiving state welfare, that rarely happens in practice. The report asserts, “Medicaid will pay for a delivery in almost all cases if the mother is uninsured or has a low income, though some mothers without insurance may not even realize the program has paid health care providers. Illegal immigrants and most new legal immigrants are ineligible for Medicaid, but the program will still cover the cost of delivery and post-partum care for these mothers for at least a few months.”
The CIS examined births to both legal and illegal immigrants and concluded that these groups now account for 20 percent of births in America.
“Our best estimate is that legal immigrants accounted for 12.4 percent — 494,000 — of all births, and illegal immigrants accounted for 7.5 percent, — 297,000,” wrote CIS Research Director Steven A. Camarota.
Camarota noted little difference in the figures in subsequent years.
As the Washington Examiner notes, Camarota says, “Paying for so many births to immigrant mothers may make sense, but the large share who can’t provide for themselves without the help of American taxpayers raises the question of whether our current immigration system makes sense.”