Immigrants cost Maryland a whole lot of money

Here is a study from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (Hat tip Help Save Maryland) entitled “The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Marylanders,” but interestingly some of the  numbers also take into account legal as well as illegal immigrants.  This is what Brad Botwin, President of Help Save Maryland, reports from the study:

Maryland has a fast growing illegal alien population of about a quarter million persons, more than quadrupling since 2000. Between 2000 and 2008, the state’s foreign-born population has grown by 34.6 percent while its native-born population has increased by 3.3 percent.  Public school enrollment of students who require special instruction in English has soared even more, rising by 93.5 percent from 2000 to 2008 while overall enrollment declined slightly.

This illegal alien population represents a major burden on the state budget and is borne by Maryland’s taxpayers. The costs imposed on law-abiding Marylanders are unfair and unwelcome even in the best of times, but are especially burdensome at a time when the state has been cutting jobs and funding for schools and health care. Furthermore, the state is facing what the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute projects will be a $2 billion deficit in the 2010 budget.

In 2008, the foreign-born population in Maryland represented nearly one in every eight residents (12.4%), and illegal aliens constituted more than one-third of that immigrant population. This illegal immigrant population costs the state’s taxpayers more than $1.4 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. The annual fiscal burden amounts to about $790 per Maryland household headed by a native-born resident.

This reminded me to have a look at Maryland’s (our home state) refugee numbers, something I hadn’t done for a long time.  From 1983-2005 Maryland took in 30,766 refugees.  That’s an average of about 1400 a year.  However, interestingly, in the last 3 years Maryland resettled well below that average:  2006—675 refugees, 2007—648, and in 2008—862.  (See databases here) I can only guess that there aren’t enough jobs in Maryland to bring in greater numbers, possibly all the illegal aliens crowd refugees out of work?    Although as we have learned from other states, a lack of jobs hasn’t stopped resettlement agencies from bringing in unsustainable numbers of refugees, I’m thinking of Bowling Green, KY for example.

Readers may want to visit FAIR for other useful reports on immigration issues, here.

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