Saturday, June 11, 2005

You CAN Go Home Again, Stay There This Time

From the AP via Newsday:

MEXICO CITY -- Ninety-four deported migrants arrived in Mexico's capital Friday on the first flight of a renewed U.S. repatriation program aimed at discouraging repeated border-crossers in desert areas during the hot summer months.

Some of those deported said they would try to cross again, while others said their border crossing days were over. The twice-daily flights are expected to bring thousands of Mexicans caught crossing illegally in the Arizona desert back to their hometowns. [...]

So, 14,000 deportations last year, expected to be up to 33,900 this year. And these are the ones that we fly direct to Mexico City, instead of just dumping right across the border. Why make their next attempt easier? Let's do the math... 300,000 enter illegally, 33,900 go back at a cost of $14.2 million, or about $420 each. Looks like at a cost of $126 Million we can stay even. Sounds like a good deal to me. And if we do the sensible thing and close the borders, we can apply that same amount to those illegals ALREADY here, and in a few decades the problem will disappear.

My 300,000 estimate mught be a little low, according to this article:

[...] No one can say for certain how many illegal immigrants live in the United States. The INS put the number at 7 million in 2000, with an annual increase of 350,000. The U.S. Census Bureau put the number at between 7.7 million and 8.8 million in 2000, and the Center for Immigration Studies calculates an annual increase of 500,000. Based on those estimates, the number now could be 8 million to 10 million. Other estimates put the number at 11 million or more.[...]

From the same report comes the reason I judged the $126 Million ($210 Million, if you use the high figure of 500,000 illegals per year):

[...] Another study in 2002 estimated that hospitals near the U.S.-Mexican border spent $190 million a year treating illegal immigrants, about 25 percent of their total cost for uncompensated care.

In November, as an amendment to the Medicare prescription drug bill, Congress set aside $1 billion to help hospitals that treat large numbers of illegal immigrants. Hospitals in every state are eligible for money, but the funding formula favors hospitals in California, Texas and other border states. [...]

This report cited only medical care, and does not address the additional burden on other social services. This ain't rocket science, folks.

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