Undocumented Immigrants in Texas: A Cost-Benefit Assessment

José Iván Rodríguez-Sánchez
Date of Publication: 
May, 2020
Source Organization: 

There are between 10.7 and 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S., with Texas home to about 14 percent of all unauthorized immigrants (an estimated 1.6 million). In Undocumented Immigrants in Texas: A Cost-Benefit Assessment, published by Rice University’s Baker Center for Public Policy, José Iván Rodríguez-Sánchez conducts a cost-benefit analysis of undocumented immigrants in Texas and concludes that undocumented immigrants contribute more to the economy than they cost the state. In fiscal year 2018, revenue collected from undocumented immigrants exceeded what the state spent on them, a net benefit of $420.9 million. For every dollar spent on public services for undocumented immigrants, they provided $1.21 in fiscal revenue for the state. While undocumented residents do create costs for the state (in areas such as education, health care and incarceration), they also support the economy, making up a significant share (8.2 percent) of Texas’ workforce. The author hopes that this report can serve as a blueprint for further studies on undocumented immigrants and their financial impact on a state’s budget and economy. He also believes that Texans need to advocate for legalization of the undocumented, because they are a “vital part of the Texas economy.” (The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute) 

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Rodríguez-Sánchez, J. (2020, May). Undocumented Immigrants in Texas: A Cost-Benefit Assessment. Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. https://www.bakerinstitute.org/research/undocumented-immigrants-texas-cost-benefit-assessment