Cost of Illegal Immigration to Rhode Islanders
My main focus with regard to illegal immigration has been its implications to US sovereignty and, with the recent rise in kidnappings and violence along the border, the personal safety of those who reside there.
It is not unreasonable, however, to also examine the more pragmatic impact that it has on Rhode Island wallets and public budgets. John Loughlin will be appearing on WPRO a little after 3 pm to discuss this with Buddy Cianci, along with Loughlin’s recent visit to Arizona and other matters pertaining to Rhode Island and District One.
[Terry Gorman of RIILE kindly provided these figures from the indicated sources.] Education — As of 2004, the US Census Bureau estimates there were 8,740 students in RI schools who were illegal aliens or the US born children of illegal aliens. Multiply this by RIDE’s figure of $23,000 annually to educate ELL’s ( English Language Learners) and get $201,020,000. Now we need to add in the cost to educate the Special Needs students. If we include the additional cost of Special Needs students in this category – using the same percentage as the total student population – 20.1% of 8,740 = 1,756 X $22,000 = $38,600,000.
Total, Education $239,600,000
Incarceration — As of 2008, there were over 200 inmates at the A.C.I. who were illegal aliens at a cost of $43,000 each annually. (Source: the Director of the A.C.I.) That’s at least $8,600,000. Now subtract reimbursement from the federal government of $1,200,000.
Net total, Incarceration: $7,400,000
Medical Services — In 2005, the Providence Journal estimated that 35% 0f Rite Care recipients were illegal aliens.
Fast forward to 2009 when the Rite Care budget for medical services was $357 million. (This represented an increase of only $1,000,000 over 2005 due to screening changes implemented by the Governor and D.H.S.) Take the ProJo’s 35% and multiply it times $357,000,000.
Total, Medical Services: $124,950,000
Uncompensated care (compensation supplied by RI taxpayers) — In 2008, the state paid a total of $138,000,000 (source: the state’s budget) to RI hospitals for uncompensated care. Attempts to quantify how much of this was paid on behalf of illegal aliens (for purportedly emergency services only) is made difficult because, as Terry Gorman observes
RIILE is stymied in this area also by the refusal of the hospitals to divulge the number of U S Citizens and Legal Immigrants receiving this uncompensated care. This would reveal the actual number of Illegal Aliens for whom they are providing services.
So let’s use what would seem to be a conservative percentage of one half. (Correction cheerfully made if and when hospitals are willing to release actual numbers.)
Total, Uncompensated CAre: $69,000,000
Jobs Taken — Apply the estimate by the US Census Bureau and D.H.S. that 59% of illegal aliens in the United States are employed to a more conservative figure of 30,000 illegal aliens residing in Rhode Island.
Total, Jobs Taken: 17,700
Grand total: $440,950,000 annually plus 17,700 jobs