Deporting Illegal Immigrants: Are We Nuts?

No one knows for sure the facts on illegal immigrants living in the United States.

Nevertheless, lets start with one common estimate of the illegal population: 12 million persons.

Now, some have suggested that the U.S. deport these twelve million people, sending them back to their land of birth.

Lets assume that illegal immigrants will not pay any of the costs of this mass deportation, which would fall upon U.S. taxpayers.

What would be the economic consequences of mass deportation of 12 million illegal immigrants?

Making Some Assumptions

Lets guess that the average annual earnings of an illegal immigrant is $12,000. That suggests that total annual earnings of the illegal population might be about $144 billion.

This amounts to about 1.4% of total household income in the U.S. in 2006. So the first cost of deporting 12 million people would be a reduction in the Gross Domestic Product, which would have a negative impact on almost everyone who works for a living in the private sector.

Although, many claim that illegal immigrants don’t ‘pay their fair share’ of taxes, the fact is that they have to eat and buy clothes and live somewhere and therefore they do indeed pay sales taxes and, indirectly or indirectly, property taxes on the places they stay. As far as income taxes go, they are not much different than the large segment of the legal population who pay no income taxes at all.

Moreover, many illegal immigrants are working with fake social security numbers and working at places that discount social security taxes, from which they will never benefit.

Anyway, we might assume that without the contribution of illegal immigrants, tax receipts at state and federal level would be at least $5 billion less.

The Practicality of Mass Deportation

Lets say, however, that American voters do conclude that its worth the decline in GDP, sales taxes, and property values to ‘cleanse’ America of these people, and that ‘we the people’ decide to adopt a ‘final solution’ for illegal immigrants: mass deportation.

What would this involve?

  • To send 12 million people abroad by 747 would require about 30,000 flights. Assuming an average cost of $1,000 per air ticket (St. Louis to Mexico City), the cost of this air transport would be about $12 billion.

  • To deport 12 million people by Greyhound bus would be cheaper, but would still require 240,000 bus loads, assuming everyone comes from Mexico, which they don’t.

  • If all deportees resisted and were sent to jail, this would require accommodations to hold more than five times the number of inmates currently housed in state and federal prisons, assuming that the prisons could also be outfitted to handle the influx of women and children. This would probably cost at least $12,000 per person per year to keep them in prison, or about $144 billion.

  • If the ACLU has anything to say about it, each of these 12 million deportees would have the right to counsel and a fair trail. This would require at least two or three million public defenders and a vast increase in the number of judges and court personnel.

  • Although the popular media doesn’t give this impression, a large number of illegal immigrants come from places that do not border on the U.S., like Brazil, Columbia, Argentina, Indonesia, and so forth. The cost of sending these people back home would be considerably more expensive and would be complicated by diplomatic problems.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that mass deportation couldn’t be done. In America, we can do anything we put our minds to.

It would take a high level of logistic planning, which as seen in Hurricane Katrina, doesn’t seem to be a strong point of the government sector.

In any event, my ball park estimate of the cost of deporting illegal immigrants would be somewhere north of $200 billion dollars — in the first year.

Are we nuts?

Bookmark and share this article:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • blinkbits
  • BlinkList
  • blogmarks
  • co.mments
  • connotea
  • digg
  • Fark
  • feedmelinks
  • Furl
  • LinkaGoGo
  • Ma.gnolia
  • NewsVine
  • Netvouz
  • RawSugar
  • Reddit
  • scuttle
  • Shadows
  • Simpy
  • Smarking
  • Spurl
  • TailRank
  • Wists
  • YahooMyWeb


15 comments on the article “Deporting Illegal Immigrants: Are We Nuts?
  1. Hi
    No we are not nuts! In any other country it would not have been allowed to get this bad. If they want to be here so badly then they need to become full fledged Americans. If they can not afford the cost of legally becoming American then there should be assistance available to help them. As for the cost of deportation, seize their cash and property tp pay for at least part of the expense of sending them back home.
    I am sure some of the illegals are nice people. I know many of them are hard working. To some degree my heart goes out to the hard working nice ones, but the word “illegal” means “against the law”. A crime is a crime is a crime.
    There has to be some solution to this problem where both illegals can be made legal citizins, we can avoid expensive deportation and all parties can be happy.
    Our country is in big debt, and the sudden increase in taxes collected from 12 million illegal people becoming legal would help. Oh it wouldn’t solve the entire problem, nothing will at this point. But it would help.
    Bottom Line: Make these people legal residents with voting rights and tax paying ability OR be prepared to face the expense of sending them home.

  2. An article on the ‘Center for Immigration Studies’ website, by Michelle Malkin, points out the built-in legal barriers to deporting immigrants: (

    “While the INS receives much-deserved flack for the deportation quagmire, a large portion of the blame lies with the independent agency in charge of the nation’s immigration courts, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), and its appellate body, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which thrive on making the deportation process as time-consuming and unwieldy as possible. Together, these two independent agencies — separate from the INS, but also housed under the Justice Department — hold the ultimate keys to deportation. While the INS has responsibility for apprehending and bringing immigration charges against aliens, it is the little-known EOIR that has jurisdiction over the nationwide Immigration Courts and their companion appeals system. More than 200 immigration judges preside in 52 courts across the country. They oversee removal proceedings, as well as bond re-determination hearings, in which the judges can reduce the bond imposed by the INS for aliens in custody who seek release on their own recognizance before final deportation.”

    The BIA’s 20-odd members, based in Falls Church, Va., are politically-appointed bureaucrats who have the power to overturn deportation orders nationwide. The panel — comprised largely of alien-friendly advocates from immigration-law circles — receives more than 30,000 appeals every year, and has a backlog of 56,000 cases, of which 34,000 are more than one year old, 10,000 are more than three years old, and some are more than seven years old. There’s even a saying among immigration insiders in Washington about the deportation process: “It ain’t over ’til the alien wins.

    Compare the number of cases that these bureaucrats are capable of handling in a year with the number of illegal immigrants in the US and the millions of voters in the Democratic party who oppose mass deportation and who therefore favor these bureaucratic barriers.

    Although the ‘deport them all’ way of thinking is appealing to native born xenophobes, and although there is no question that it is not ‘right’ that the situation has been allowed to get out of hand, the practicalities of cost, politics, and entrenched legal barriers make the ‘mass deportation solution’ a matter of political rhetoric rather than a practical social remedy.

  3. ILLEGAL immigrants, is what they are, ILLEGAL, THUS BREAKING THE LAW. IT IS COSTING OUR COUNTRY 60 BILLION A YEAR TO TAKE CARE OF ILLEGALS, yes they need to be deported, and if they keep coming back on the 3rd time be shot… that is exactly how mexico would treat us. It is illegal in every country to reside their illegally, you must have permission, legal documentation, a job, and pay taxes, wake up. Deportation, and seizure of monies, cars, anything will pay for these things, in my small town Union City Tn, I believe our town could make money. Tons of mexicans are leaving Tyson, and readily admit they have no drivers liscence, seize their autos, and monies……american citizens(LEGAL) are subject to these punishments, why arent illegals, even when drunk they don’t seize the autos.


  5. Listen Mrs Michelle…Did you not read anything???are u retarted???
    are u missing a damn screw!!!
    first of all u seem to be tramatized about sum-thing that has happened to u…wut makes u think all immigrants are mexican???
    immigrants are paying taxes and social security the same exact way you are…
    im pretty sure that yur great-great-great grandfather was’nt born here…i wonder if he got shot after the third try???

  6. This is not an issue that is so black and white. There is a whole lot of gray on this issue that must be taken into consideration. If anybody is going to take on this issue they must consider LAW and JUSTICE but they must also consider HUMAN DIGNITY and above all PRACTICALITY.

    On the one hand you have the Law that must be kept. If anyone thinks that illegal immigration continues to grow because congress CAN’T stop it, they are WRONG. Consider this quote: “The reason we do not have secure borders is because of an insatiable demand for cheap labor,” says Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo. In other words, congress has the law, but refuses to enforce it because it benefits our economy….or so they think so.

    In contrast, there is a valid argument that illegal immigration does nothing more for our economy than lower wages. Are there jobs that American citizens won’t do? Yes! Are there jobs that American citizens won’t do for a decent wage? No! Thus the influx of illegal immigrants does not necesarilly mean that they will fill jobs that Americans refuse to fill, rather they takes jobs for much less pay that otherwise the employer would have had to pay a higher wage.

    Does more jobs for less pay equal better economy or does it simply mean greater earnings for employers who provide jobs to illegal immigrants.

    Now, what about practicality and human dignity. It is not practicle for the United States Government to “purge” our country of the illegal immigrants found herein. Such a purging would inherently carry hints of Nazi Germany, not to mention the astrinomical cost to carry it out. In such a case, our government would be tearing families apart (i.e. marraiges of illegal immigrants to perminant residents). Furthermore, the persicution of illegal immigrants does nothing more than force them more and more underground. The result is an increased multiplicity of illegal immigrant activity out of public view (i.e. forgery of immigration and citizenship documents).

    I think everyone agrees that it is a problem that must be fixed. amnesty supporters cite the forcing of illegals “underground”. Those who oppose amnesty cite that illegal activity is still illegal, no matter how you look at it.

    They are both correct, however, if something is to be done about it, the solution must be practical. I has to be something that CAN ACTUALLY BE DONE. In my opinion, the only real solution would be to provide a difinitive way for illegal immigrants already living here to obtain naturalization and congress MUST finally let go of their double standard by upholding the laws and securing our borders by whatever means necessary.

  7. I think people forget that we are illegal immigrants to this country as well. I mean who are we to complain? We stole this land from the Native Americans.

  8. I don’t care what it costs. It has to cheaper than letting them stay working for cash and not paying ANY taxes. Which is what they do I know they get construction jobs and are paid like the rest of us with a 1099. You are responsible for paying your own taxes. They can avoid paying for years until they are caught. In fact most of them give builders false info and never get caught. Giving them untold amounts of free money to send back to “methico”, even if caught they just go back through open border door and come right back to do it all over again. Plus, they are draining the welfare and medicad system. SO BARRING ALL THIS IN MIND, I SAY NO PRICE IS TO HIGH TO RID THE COUNTRY OF THESE LEECHES. I KNOW I WOULD LIKE MY CONSTRUCTION JOB BACK. DEPORT THEM NOW, STOP AMY MORE FOREIGNERS FROM ENTERING, SECURE THE DAMN BORDER, NO MORE ANCHOR BABIES, JUST STOP THE INVASION BEFORE WE BECOME A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY AND OUR KIDS ARE STANDING IN BREAD LINES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. And this is called the land of the free??? whatever, there is people from all over the world here without citizenships, visa, green cards or anything else. But it seems that the Hispanic ones is the only ones that get any thing done to them that you hear about. so therefore are we deaf to them? I know quite a few of them that work, pay their rent and everything on time. Unlike some of the people born in the USA. They work for less money than other people would and do a GREAT job at their work. They are not over here opening up convience stores then going back and letting another family member come and run this one, so that when the times comes that the original one can come back and open another business and do it over and over again. So where is the Freedom in the USA?????

  10. I think you are forgetting the fact that they are illegal and that they have no right under the law to be here. We cater to them and it has to stop. We spend billions of dollars a year taking care of them at the TAXPAYERS expense. No where else in the world can you live illegally and recieve services the way they do. They can get free health care, child care, education, housing, food stamps, wic, FAMIS when legal people cannot recieve these services. In the long run we would be saving money.

  11. Well, as you can see from the comments so far, the proponents of mass deportation of illegal immigrants are quite vocal and heated. Unfortunately, this point of view has now helped to guarantee that liberals will control the White House for the next four (perhaps eight ) years and also to ensure that illegal immigrants will now definitely not be deported.

    There is a big difference between what is legally correct and what is politically feasible. Once an illegal practice is allowed to persist for many years, it becomes accepted and extremely difficult to reverse. Illegal immigration gathered impetus during the Clinton immigration and was allowed to continue under George Bush. We now have a period of over sixteen years when the floodgates have been opened. The idea that the Obama administration is going to deport millions of potential voters to their cause (remember ACORN and the motor voter act) is pure fantasy. Meanwhile, the far-right Republicans continue to commit political suicide by advocating positions that appear to a large part of the resident population as pure xenophobia.

    In the case of illegal immigration, those in favor of mass deportation forget some very important facts: (1) almost half of the U.S. legal population pays no income taxes at all (shall we deport them?); (2) the Republicans lost control of California for years when Pete Wilson took a strong stance against illegal immigration; (3) all residents in the U.S., legal or not, pay sales taxes and directly or indirectly, property taxes. Illegal immigrants do not all live out of their cars. Many have homes (sometimes financed by the imprudent mortgages pushed by the likes of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd) and most of the rest rent, which means that they pay property taxes through their landlords.

    Of course, a prolonged depression and lack of jobs will do more to “deport” illegal aliens than any government action and this is already happening. Unfortunately, this will do little to remove the antipathy towards conservatives that has been created by the “deport them all” stance on illegal immigration, which will weigh on Republican election results for years to come.

    Now, of course, we have a Democratic administration that is likely to tax working Americans to distribute “tax rebates” to those who are not working and don’t pay taxes, in the name of “economic stimulus”. In the process, they will also give tax rebates to illegal aliens. Personally, I would rather pay an illegal immigrant to cut my grass and trim my hedges than to have Barrack Obama and Nancy Pelosi take money away from me through taxes to give to some “legal” American whose only “work” has been to vote Democratic in the last election. But that is what we now have.

    So, dear proponents of “legality at all costs”, think of the practical results of having allowed yourselves to exhibit apparent xenophobia when your next tax bill comes.

  12. We already have third world status within our borders. Xenophobia? Integrity? Please…… While it’s quite true this country was built by immigrants the fact is it ain’t THESE illegal immigrants! THESE illegals are here to get what they can from us, to take advantage of our generosity. The above article is written in conjecture, supposition, and assumptions and the author uses those to reach a conclusion that supports his own beliefs. …………. ………… …………. It’s ok if after they’re gone my taxes increase. At least I will have the extreme pride and satisfaction that the United States will be here when the world needs us. At the present rate of illegals entering and their financial drain on us, the US will not survive another generation. This is NOT what my Uncle James Russell Sellers died for on the beaches of Normandy in WWII.

  13. dude youre an idiot, go cut yourself! Do you inderstand that taxpayers are spending more money on their health care and all that other s**t than to deport them? oh and dont forget those 7.7 million working illegal immigrangt dont pay taxes!

  14. This is an issue of millions of Americans being fired from their jobs so greedy scum bags can hire a cheeper less competent model. The invaders have caused this economic meltdown and everyone knows it. They have no fffing right to invade OUR country only to destroy all that was built by hard working people. nobama wants us to give our American dream to the invaders and i say he can kiss my booty. I will fight till the very end to save what I’ve worked for.

    So… say what you want but “it is cheeper to deport them… than it is to support them”…

    I have had it with this foreign invasion and if the government won’t do anything then maybe we should!!!!!!!

  15. F*ck all you American piece of sh*ts. I was deported after 22 years and I would blow your f*cken heads off. I am from Poland and if I ever see a f*cken American, I will treat him like the shit that he is. Americans are dumb compared to Europeans. Thank god for Obama,


Please add your comment

Please review carefully before submitting. All comments are moderated and edited.

copyright | privacy | home

Powered by WordPress | Entries (RSS) | Comments (RSS)