Florida Studies Reveal Huge Increase in Cost of Illegal Immigration and Widespread Voter Dissatisfaction


Cost Study and Zogby Poll Offer Comprehensive Statewide Assessment



(Washington, D.C.) Simultaneous studies, released this week by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), show soaring costs of illegal immigration in Florida and demonstrate strong voter objections to the burdens placed on them by illegal immigration. A new Zogby International poll of 801 likely voters across the state found that, by an overwhelming margin, Floridians believe that illegal immigration is harming their state.  Their perceptions are rooted in reality.  A separate FAIR study, the Costs of Illegal Immigration to Floridians found that providing education and health care to illegal aliens and their families, and incarcerating criminal illegal aliens, costs state taxpayers more than $3.8 billion annually, more than double the costs measured in 2005.


The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Floridians found that taxpayers spend:


Ř      $3.4 billion a year to educate illegal immigrant children and the U.S. born children of illegal immigrants.

Ř      $290 million a year on unreimbursed health care for illegal aliens.

Ř      $90 million a year to incarcerate criminal illegal aliens.

Ř      The total represents an annual cost to each of Florida’s native-born headed households of $678.


The cost study also determined that the illegal alien population in Florida is now 950,000 persons. This represents 7.3 percent of the national total illegal alien population, and it is the nation’s fourth largest concentration of illegal aliens after California, Texas and New York. It is also about 5.2 percent of Florida’s overall population.


The Zogby poll found that:

Ř      71.3% of Florida voters say illegal immigration has a negative impact on the state. Only 14.4% believe it has a positive impact on Florida.

Ř      83.5% of Florida voters believe illegal aliens have a negative impact on the state budget, versus only 7.9% who believe their impact is positive.

Ř      57.5% believe illegal immigration should be reduced through better enforcement of immigration laws. Only 36% of Florida voters favor amnesty or legalization for current illegal aliens.

Ř      68.6% of Florida voters want worksite immigration enforcement to continue. Only 21.1% support the Obama administration’s decision to curtail worksite enforcement.


“Voters in Florida, like voters everywhere, want their elected officials in Washington and Tallahassee to protect their interests, their jobs, and their tax dollars from the impact of mass illegal immigration,” said Stein. “At a time when the Obama administration is intent on systematically dismantling immigration enforcement, and congressional leaders are considering a new round of amnesty legislation, voters in this key state are saying unequivocally that it is time political leaders stopped pandering to the illegal immigration lobby, and started enforcing laws that serve the interests of ordinary Americans.”


The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Floridians and a summary of the Zogby International Polling results are available at www.fairus.org.


April 15, 2009