NewsPublic Affairs / May 26, 2016

Illegal Immigration Study Committee Looks At Cost To State

Illegal Immigration Study Committee Looks At Cost To State

A state Senate fiscal analysis estimates illegal immigration costs the state up to $130 million a year.

file photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- A legislative panel Wednesday examined the cost of illegal immigration on Indiana and its effect on local communities. It was the second of six study committee meetings this year that focus on immigration.

Prompted by 2012 legislation, the Daniels administration calculated an estimate of the cost of illegal immigration to the state.

Using that same methodology, a state Senate fiscal analysis estimates the cost now at about $130 million a year, virtually unchanged from the 2012 estimate.

Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers, testifying before the study committee, says he sees a cost that isn’t in that analysis, one to citizens involved in auto accidents with people living in the country illegally.

“There’s no restitution, there’s no financial responsibility on the part of the driver,” Rogers says.

There is no estimate of that cost.

The Senate analysis used data from the Pew Hispanic Center to calculate its estimate…and that data suggests the number of illegal immigrants in the state is down from four years ago.

Yet the estimated cost to the state remains unchanged largely because of an increase in health care costs, which a Democratic senator noted was likely because health care costs have generally increased.

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