Border Crisis

Why Should Border States Foot the Bill for Illegal Aliens?

DCNF(Daily Caller)—In July of this past summer, U.S. border arrests of illegal aliens along the Mexican border surged to 132,648, up from 99,543 during the previous month.

The news was so bad that the federal government appears to have delayed the release of the numbers until late Friday afternoon, Aug. 18, when fewer people would be paying attention.

This is a nice microcosm of the way the Biden administration and even, sadly, the Texas governor deal with America’s border crisis. Bury the news. Pretend things are fine. Lie, obfuscate, etc.

As a public relations strategy, this might work for a while. But sooner or later, the ruling class cannot hide the reality of the problem. We are now at this point in Texas where the hard dollar costs of illegal immigration can no longer be hidden.

The Huffines Liberty Foundation, in a newly published report on the cost of illegal immigration, estimates that the cost of educating illegal aliens in Texas public schools was $6.6 billion for the 2022-23 school year. Texas’ border security costs are about $2.6 billion, while criminal justice costs run about $1.7 billion.

These costs make it clear that the lack of control of the Texas-Mexico border by both the federal and Texas governments must be addressed.

But they must be addressed at the root cause, and this first requires a clear-sighted understanding of the issue. According to Todd Bensman with the Center for Immigration Studies, the surge of illegal crossings in the last few years has been caused by illegal aliens who “pulled the trigger on crossing journeys in direct response to immigration-related policies and court rulings that they realized were advantageous.”

It is important to pause here and note that the primary cause of our border woes is not external.

Yes, Mexico is a failed state and does nothing to stop border crossings. Yes, people are always in search of a better life and look toward America. All this is true. But none of it would be considered by the illegal alien if the United States did not take such great pains to financially accommodate those people that make it over.

The United States government under the Biden administration has essentially eliminated robust security across our national border, making the final leg of an illegal alien’s difficult journey much easier. But it’s really the benefits of living in America that are exerting the gravitational pull.

Indeed, most of the benefits illegal aliens take advantage of in the United States come from the government in the form of services and welfare. The costs of these add up very quickly (see the above and our report) for Texas taxpayers who, because they live in a border state, bear a disproportionate amount of these costs.

Education, border security and criminal justice, and medical and welfare. In each of these categories, we can track the ballooning of state expenditures on account of illegal immigration.

And in each category, the financial cost has a yearly increase. For instance, in the 2013-14 school year, we estimated the cost of educating illegal aliens in Texas public schools was around $3.5 billion. For the 2022-23 school year, we are at $6.6 billion.

These numbers, like those faced by our welfare apparatus, medical systems — your name it — will never, ever decrease. If the federal government wants illegal aliens educated, they should foot the cost. Why, indeed, does this rest on the shoulder of Lone Star residents but not on that of, say, non-border states?

The only way it ends is by securing our border. Sadly, despite spending over $2 billion a year on “border security,” the state of Texas has done little in the way of securing anything.

If we want the insane burden of these social expenditures to lift, we must start with reestablishing and securing the national border between the United States and Mexico, particularly in Texas.

This ultimately means, however, that the people of Texas need to rethink and reestablish the kinds of leaders who can make this happen.

Don Huffines was a former Texas State Senator from 2015-2019. He is the founder of the Huffines Liberty Foundation, a non-profit devoted to advancing the cause of liberty in the State of Texas and educate citizens to hold their elected officials accountable.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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