A special report issued by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts examines the financial impact of undocumented immigrants on the state’s budget and economy. In addition to the costs in providing services to undocumented immigrants, the report also looks at the effect of undocumented immigrants on the state’s revenues and gross state product.
Among the findings of the report, entitled “Undocumented Immigrants in Texas: A Financial Analysis of the Impact to the State Budget and Economy”:
- Undocumented immigrants have a $17.7 billion impact on the Texas economy.
- The revenues (including taxes) generated by undocumented immigrants in Texas are greater than the costs that the state spends in providing services to them.
- Costs associated with providing services to undocumented immigrants are borne by all levels of government: local, state and federal.
- The largest costs may fall into the hands of local governments, who pay for incarceration and many uncovered healthcare costs.
Texas is the first state to conduct a thorough analysis of the effect of undocumented immigrants on the state economy and gross state product.
The report acknowledges that calculating the impact of undocumented immigrants is, “at best, an educated guess.” Not only is it difficult to get an accurate count of the number of undocumented immigrants, it is also hard to tell just how many are accessing state and local government services. The law allows all residents access to public services such as schools and healthcare regardless of citizenship.