NOVEMBER 03, 2008
A state with an illegal immigrant population that more than doubled in the last eight years has taken major legislative measures to curb the crisis, which annually costs its legal residents close to $2 billion.
The rapid increase in Georgia’s illegal alien population has pushed state lawmakers to aggressively tackle the problem which has created a huge financial burden for its citizens. A new study reveals that the state annually spends $1.6 billion to educate, incarcerate and medically treat illegal immigrants.
According to the in-depth study, Georgia’s illegal alien population went from 228,000 in 2000 to nearly half a million this year. As is the case nationwide, U.S. taxpayers pick up the tab to provide them with a variety of public services. In Georgia, each household headed by a law-abiding legal citizen contributes about $523 to the cause.
The biggest chunk, about $1.37 billion a year, goes to educating the state’s estimated 64,100 school-aged illegal aliens and the nearly 90,000 U.S.-born children (anchor babies) of illegal immigrants. One in 10 public school students in Georgia is the child of an illegal immigrant.
The second-biggest cost is healthcare. Georgia taxpayers annually dish out $210 million to provide state-funded uncompensated health care for illegal immigrants. Additionally, state residents who have medical insurance also pay higher insurance bills to help cover the costs of those without insurance.
Finally, the state spends nearly $23 million to incarcerate deportable aliens in state and local prisons. The figure doesn’t even include short-term detention costs, related law enforcement and judicial expenditures or the financial impact of the crimes that result in incarceration.
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