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U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington: Exposing the fiscal implications of our wide-open border

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U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington: Exposing the fiscal implications of our wide-open border

By U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington
Published 3:31 p.m. CT May 9, 2024

The American people understand the unprecedented humanitarian and national security impact of our current border crisis, but it doesn’t end there.

As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, I’m exposing the fiscal implications of our wide-open borders. 

The total hit to taxpayers is $150 billion per year. 

That’s more than the annual budget of nearly every state, and it’s almost twice as much as we spend on the entire Department of Homeland Security.

State and local governments bear a disproportionate financial burden, spending $100 billion per year while the federal government only spends $50 billion.

However, unlike the federal government, our state and local governments can't borrow or print money – they are required to balance their budgets.

That means to absorb the tens of billions in costs, they have to cut services to hardworking Americans or raise taxes on them.

This is totally unsustainable and completely avoidable.

In Texas alone, we have spent $13 billion because the federal government has abdicated its first and most important responsibility: to enforce our immigration laws, secure our sovereign border, and protect our citizens.

As a whole, American taxpayers are spending nearly $9,000 per illegal immigrant. 

That's more than the federal government spends on our most vulnerable citizens on Medicaid benefits.

That’s more than we spend on our brave veterans for their military retirement benefits. 

Here’s a sample breakdown of additional taxpayer dollars spent on services for illegal immigrants.

At the federal level, we’re spending $2.8 billion on Head Start, $8.2 billion in uncompensated care, $5.8 billion on food stamps, $25 billion on additional criminal justice services and more.

At the state level, we’re spending $70.4 billion on K-12 public school education, $18.2 billion on medical expenses, and $12 billion on additional law enforcement and national guardsmen.

Oftentimes, these are programs that are supposed to serve the American people, especially the most vulnerable among us, but instead, they're supporting illegal immigrants and incentivizing more people to come into our country illegally.

At a time when we have ballooning deficits and a record national debt, at a time when we can't even afford the safety net programs we've promised to our own citizens, we're taking on another $150 billion for people coming into our country illegally. 

This is a crisis that is costing taxpayers at the federal, state, and local levels. We must hold President Biden accountable and ensure he can no longer ignore the catastrophic consequences of his self-inflicted border crisis.

U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington is a Republican from Lubbock serving the 19th Congressional District of Texas and chairman of the House Budget Committee.