Editor, Manteca Bulletin:
A recent letter titled “Migrant farm workers are pawns” accused the Bulletin of short changing liberal opinion writers while referring to conservative writers as “wingnuts from the right.” The letter was highly sympathetic toward California’s migrant farm workers and certainly their plight has long since been brought to light through the life and times of Cesar Chavez. The letter incorrectly states “All of the studies on the subject show that they contribute far more in taxes than costs of any government services they have received. That is fact, not myth.” Oh really? Unfortunately, the author failed to present a single fact to back that assertion.
In fact, illegal immigrants and their children cost the state of California $30.29 billion per year. That works out to $7,352 per illegal alien, or 17.7% of California’s entire budget. Nationally the annual cost of illegal immigration exceeds $135 billion based on two recent studies from the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the National Economics Editorial. California bears the largest burden due to its high percentage illegal population.
Best estimates are there are over 3 million adult illegal immigrants and an additional 1.1 million children for a total of 4.12 million illegal immigrants and their children living in California. Education costs account for $15.63 billion, healthcare costs $4.02 billion, crime costs $4.4 billion, remittance payments $3.86 billion, and GSA costs $1.6 billion. Yes, illegal immigrants do pay some taxes, mostly sales taxes and payroll taxes estimated to total $3.5 billion. This isn’t close to what they draw down from the state coffers for services. The facts speak for themselves.