Illegal Immigrants Attending US Colleges Soak Taxpayers

A newly released study revealed a staggering statistic. At least 408,000 students without a legal right to be in the country are now enrolled in American colleges and universities. These individuals account for nearly 2% of the entire higher education population. It’s a testament to the widespread effects of unchecked illegal immigration and the role of lax immigration policies like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) instituted during the Obama administration.

The authors of the report, compiled by the American Immigration Council and the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education, stated that most of these students had arrived in the U.S. during their formative years. Often, they were beneficiaries of the DACA program. This initiative, intended to prevent the deportation of certain foreign youth, has led to a surge of so-called “Dreamers.” These individuals, having grown up in American neighborhoods and attended American schools, are now being subsidized by American taxpayers to pursue higher education.

The latest data shows taxpayers annually spend approximately $182 billion to provide services and benefits to illegal immigrants and their dependents, so this issue is far from insignificant. The fiscal burden on the average American is high, a cost that continues to rise.

Interestingly, the current figure of 408,000 illegal alien college students shows a slight decrease from the 2019 total, when 427,000 undocumented students were reported. This dip, the report suggests, might result from the overall enrollment decline due to the pandemic and economic pressures. Yet, it could also be tied to ongoing legal challenges to the DACA program.

The decline in DACA-eligible individuals, from 182,000 in 2019 to 141,000 in 2021, might also be due to a need for more updates to the program. For instance, those who arrived in the U.S. after the 2007 cut-off are ineligible for DACA, despite now being of college age.

Regarding distribution, these students are concentrated in a small number of states. A staggering 75% of undocumented students reside in just 12 states, with the vast majority from California, Texas, Florida, and New York. Additionally, public colleges and universities have proven the biggest draw for these individuals, with over 77% of the students enrolled in such institutions.

All these facts and figures reveal a challenging picture of the U.S. higher education system, one that’s increasingly entangled with the consequences of unchecked immigration. It’s a testament to the pressing need for comprehensive immigration reform. Yet, as the report outlines, figures like former President Obama continue to champion DACA, urging the present administration to give such aliens permanent lawful status.

As American taxpayers, we must be conscious of the long-term implications of these numbers. The immigration issue is not just about borders and legality; it’s about financial, cultural, and societal costs.