Simultaneous studies, released this week by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), document the true costs of illegal immigration in Maryland and demonstrate strong voter objections to the burdens placed on them by illegal immigration. The price tag associated with providing education, health care and incarceration of criminal illegal aliens is at least $1.3 billion a year, finds The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Marylanders. The impact is clearly recognized by Maryland voters. A new Pulse Opinion Research poll of 1,000 likely voters across the state found that, by a large margin, Marylanders believe that illegal immigration is harming their state.

The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Marylanders found that taxpayers spend:

* $ 1.1 billion a year to educate illegal immigrant children and the U.S. born children of illegal immigrants.

* $ 167 million a year on unreimbursed health care for illegal aliens.

* $ 29 million a year to incarcerate criminal illegal aliens.

* The total represents an annual cost to each of Maryland’s native-born headed households of $ 625.

The cost study is based on an estimate that the illegal alien population in Maryland is now 250,000 persons. The illegal alien population of Maryland has grown exponentially during this decade, nearly quadrupling since 2000.

In a separate report, English Learners and Immigration: A Case Study in Prince George’s County, Maryland, FAIR examines the impact of mass immigration in local schools in Prince George’s County. Because of large-scale legal and illegal immigration, the county has seen its non-English proficient student population grow from 7,064 in 2004 to 13,825 today. Programs to teach immigrant students English cost the county more than $66 million a year.

The Pulse Opinion Research poll found that:

* 73% of Maryland voters say illegal immigration has a negative impact on the state. Only 20% believe it has a positive impact on Maryland.

* 77% of Maryland voters believe illegal aliens have a negative impact on the state budget, versus only 15% who believe their impact is positive.

* 65% of Maryland voters believe that illegal immigration harms the state’s schools. Only 18% believe illegal immigration has had a beneficial effect on education.

* 55% believe illegal immigration should be reduced through better enforcement of immigration laws. Only 36% of Maryland voters favor amnesty or legalization for current illegal aliens.

“Voters in Maryland, like voters everywhere, want their elected officials in Washington and Annapolis to protect their interests, their jobs, and their tax dollars from the impact of mass illegal immigration,” said Dan Stein, President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “The failure of government at all levels to institute and enforce sensible immigration policies is costing Marylanders jobs, billions in tax dollars, and their children the opportunity to get the quality education they need and deserve. At a time when state lawmakers are slashing budgets, spending on illegal immigrants in Maryland continues to rise over the strong objection of voters.”

“The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Marylanders, English Learners and Immigration: A Case Study in Prince George’s County, Maryland” and a summary of the Pulse Opinion Research results are available at http://www.fairus.org.

SOURCE

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