Why Texas Comptroller Needs to Update Report on Undocumented Immigrants

Bush logoBy Alex Gonzalez

The report by Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn in 2006 was the first comprehensive effort by the state government to calculate the benefits and costs of having 1.4 million to 1.6 million illegal immigrants in Texas. Special Report: Undocumented Immigrants in Texas. A Financial Analysis of the Impact to the State Budget and Economy. See report below

Most of the illegal immigrants in Texas are from Latin America, predominantly Mexico. Most are the working poor, doing service and construction jobs.
• The $17.7 billion positive impact on the state’s economy does not factor in any effects of the immigrants sending money home.

• The report estimated that there are 135,000 undocumented children in the public school system, costing the state slightly less than $957 million a year. Another 3,792 are in state colleges, costing about $11.2 million.

• The total cost for state services was $1.15 billion, but illegal immigrants, through sales and property taxes, provided $1.58 billion in taxes for the state. That was a net positive impact to state finances of $424.7 million.

TX Study on Undocumented Immigrants and Economy by Latinos Ready To Vote

There are many reasons why the state of Texas needs to update this report. Here are few.

  • Those students used for the report are now tax payers in the early 20s.
  • Since 2006, when the report was done, population growth in Texas was been caused by native births and migration from other states – citizens.
  • In 2008, when the “recession” hit, illegal immigration patterns from Mexico shifted and many undocumented immigrant left, and migration from Mexico stop.

A as result, considering the recession and demographics facts,  the undocumented population in Texas in schools is now lower than in was in 2006, and fiscal burden in schools, and other “services” associated with illegal immigration is lower than in 2006. and the fiscal benefits to the the state coffers from the undocumented immigrants population may be now greater than in 2006.


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