1. "Could someone please explain to the democrats (we need their votes) the our country losses (sic) 250 exchange rate Dollars a year on illegal immigration, not including the devastating drug flow. Height Border Security, including a wall surface is $25 Billion. Pays because that itself in 2 months. Get it done!"

2. "Illegal immigration prices the unified States much more than 200 billion Dollars a year. How was this permitted to happen?"

THE FORUM: Twitter, Dec. 4 and Dec. 18

WHAT WE"RE looking AT: Does illegal immigrant cost the United states $200-plus billion each year?

OUR FINDING: No Stars, False.

You are watching: How much does illegal immigration cost the us every year


President Donald Trump has used numerous estimates about the cost of illegal immigration in the past couple of months together he seeks to garner support from Congress to construct a wall on the southern border. The federal government shutdown centers approximately the issue.

Throughout December, the made multiple claims on social media and to reporters about the cost of illegal immigration, varying from $200 exchange rate to $275 billion.

In addition to the tweets made on Dec. 4 and Dec. 18, he stated at a cabinet conference on Dec. 19, "It"s therefore insignificant compared to what we"re talk about. Girlfriend know, I"ve heard numbers as high as $275 billion we lose on illegal immigration."

He repetitive the number on Dec. 20 in ~ a signing ceremony. "Illegal immigration costs our country $275 billion a year. Friend hear numerous different numbers. You can say, "billions and billions," but the number that i hear many accurate is $275 exchange rate a year — at least." 

No backing because that the numbers

Neither Trump no one the White House has cited a source for the data about illegal immigration costs.

His number are much more than twice together high as the closest released estimate, which was made by the Federation because that American immigrant Reform, a conservative research organization that proponents for less immigration, both legal and also illegal. The group"s report, released in 2017, estimated the cost was $135 billion a year.

In June, AZ Fact check found far-ranging limitations to the fair report in an examination of a separate insurance claim on the expense of illegal immigration. Immigrant researchers have likewise criticized the study"s methodology.

A critique by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, dubbed the study "fatally flawed."

Nonetheless, the report go not necessarily offer as Trump"s source for the figures. Also FAIR showed up to be unaware of the research study behind the $200 billion-plus costs.

"I"m not sure where the president obtained his numbers," Dave Ray, interactions director of FAIR, told the Associated Press. 

Immigration experts scratch heads

Other right-leaning research study organizations likewise have not made estimates as high together those cited through Trump.

The heritage Foundation, a conservative study organization, released a report in 2013 around the costs of illegal immigration. The study found there were 3.7 million undocumented households and the expenses were one estimated $54.5 billion every year — five times less 보다 Trump"s estimate.

And the critique by the Cato Institute in 2017 gave an also lower number, with prices estimated at between $3.3 billion to $15.6 billion annually.

A selection of immigration experts have actually said Trump"s prices are exaggerated. NBC News inquiry a myriad of analysts about his numbers.

"The $200 billion figure does appears inflated to me," said Randy Capps, manager for research for U.S programs at the independent think tank Migration plan Institute called NBC News. 

"It sounds extraordinarily high come me," Meg Wiehe, deputy director in ~ the nonpartisan academy on Taxation and also Economic policy told NBC.

Some to speak the prices are difficult to extrapolate. In its entirety data top top the undocumented population in the U.S. Is limited, according come researchers. 

"It"s really tough to calculate anyone"s "net cost" or "net benefit," David Dyssegaard Kallick, the deputy director of the economic think tank Fiscal plan Institute also told NBC. "We all usage all type of services, from roads to army protection. How do we apportion what part of the is something ns or girlfriend or one immigrant use?" 

When asked around the $200-billion add to cost Trump provided however, Kallick claimed the number was, "Frankly absurd."


The Trump administration has not provided any kind of sources because that the claim of a $200-plus billion expense for illegal immigration. No public report support the figure and existing studies — even those v questionable methodology — show expenses are substantially lower.

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SOURCES: Dec. 18 Twitter write-up by 
realDonaldTrump; "AP reality CHECK: trump card wrong around illegal immigration costs," linked Press, Dec. 2018; "Donald Trump"s false claim about the expense of illegal immigration, PolitiFact, Dec. 2018; "How lot does illegal immigration expense in America? Not almost as lot as trumped claims," NBC News, Dec. 2018;  "The Fiscal price of Unlawful Immigrants and also Amnesty come the U.S. Taxpayer," The heritage Foundation, may 2013; "The Fiscal burden of Illegal immigrant on United states Taxpayers," Federation because that American immigration Reform, Sept. 2017; "FAIR"s "Fiscal burden of Illegal Immigration" examine Is Fatally Flawed," CATO Institute, Sept. 2017.