search
Sections List
American Journal News

Texas AG claims immigrants cost the state 'billions.' He's flat-out wrong.

Studies have repeatedly found that immigrants pay taxes and contribute heavily to the country’s revenue.

By Amy Lieu - April 06, 2021
Share
Ken Paxton

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton complained to Fox News on Sunday that immigrants are costing his state and the country “billions of dollars” because of their use of public benefits.

“If we’re going to invite people in, we ought to make sure that they can take care of themselves,” he said.

Paxton’s comments follow President Joe Biden’s decision to halt the public charge rule in addition to court actions against the policy.

On March 26, Paxton led 13 other state attorneys general in filing a lawsuit with the Supreme Court to take over the defense of the public charge rule and prevent a lower judge from throwing it out. The Republican attorneys had asked to take over the defense of the rule with the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit previously, after the Biden administration chose to drop the matter, but were rejected.

The public charge rule, first formalized in May 1999 by the Immigration and Nationalization Service, affected immigrants applying for legal permanent residence (a green card) or for a visa to enter the United States. The Trump administration announced a new rule in 2019, expanding on the previous one, which stated that a noncitizen would be “inadmissible” to the United States or not qualified for legal permanent residency if they were considered likely to use public benefits such as public housing, Medicaid, or food assistance.

“I am tired of seeing our taxpayer paying for people to come into the country and immediately go onto welfare and various other things,” Donald Trump said in August 2019 upon announcing an expansion to that policy. “So I think we’re doing it right.”

In October 2019, a federal judge temporarily blocked the public charge rule from taking effect. Then, in January 2020, Trump asked the Supreme Court to intervene, after which the conservative majority ruled in favor of allowing the rule to be implemented.

The Biden administration announced it would no longer implement the rule on March 9. The same day, the Supreme Court dropped two appeals to uphold the rule filed by the Trump administration.

Paxton has been leading the charge to have the rule reinstated ever since.

“Texas taxpayers are forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars every year to sustain the services our state must provide to illegal aliens. Without the public-charge rule, our Medicaid budget and other vital services will explode and be spread too thin, costing taxpayers millions more and reducing the quality of service we can provide,” the Texas attorney general said on March 30.

Studies show that this is false.

A 2019 New American Economy Research Fund report found that “the total annual income of workers affected by the public charge rule is more than $53.6 billion.”

“Should they leave the United States, our economy would suffer an indirect economic loss of more than $37.4 billion. The total cost to the U.S. economy could therefore amount to more than $91.0 billion,” the report stated.

And a 2018 policy brief from the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute even noted, “Overall, immigrants are less likely to consume welfare benefits and, when they do, they generally consume a lower dollar value of benefits than native‐​born Americans.”

The institute noted that immigrants in 2016 used an average per capita value of $3,718 in public benefits, which is 39% less compared to native-born Americans, who used an average per capita of $6,081.

Studies also specifically refute Paxton’s claims that undocumented people are draining tax dollars through public benefits.

A May 2020 cost-benefit assessment of undocumented immigrants in Texas by Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy estimated that the revenue Texas received from undocumented immigrants was more than the benefits that the state provided them. In fiscal year 2018, the state’s net gain was around $420.9 million.

“This means that for every dollar spent on public services for undocumented immigrants, they provide $1.21 in fiscal revenue for the state of Texas,” the report said.

Furthermore, a 2017 Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy report found that noncitizens paid an estimated $11.74 billion annually to state and local economies, but are ineligible for several federal or state programs.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


Read More
Rosenblum, other Democratic AGs ask SCOTUS to block red state bans on emergency abortions

Rosenblum, other Democratic AGs ask SCOTUS to block red state bans on emergency abortions

By Gloria Rebecca Gomez, Arizona Mirror - April 01, 2024
Ken Paxton paid $2.3 million to defense lawyers for impeachment trial

Ken Paxton paid $2.3 million to defense lawyers for impeachment trial

By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune - January 18, 2024
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Abortion advocates submit ballot issue affirming right to terminate pregnancy in Montana

Abortion advocates submit ballot issue affirming right to terminate pregnancy in Montana

By Nicole Girten - November 27, 2023
Companies facing legal action fill coffers of Kentucky Republican attorney general nominee

Companies facing legal action fill coffers of Kentucky Republican attorney general nominee

By Jesse Valentine - November 02, 2023
Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud trial set for April 15

Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud trial set for April 15

By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune - October 30, 2023
AJ News
Latest
Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

By Jesse Valentine - May 24, 2024
What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

By Chabeli Carrazana and Shefali Luthra - May 22, 2024
Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

By Jesse Valentine - May 21, 2024
Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

By Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector - May 21, 2024
House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

By Jesse Valentine - May 14, 2024
Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

By Jesse Valentine - May 09, 2024
Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

By Jesse Valentine - May 07, 2024
Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - April 30, 2024
Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

By Jesse Valentine - April 30, 2024
Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - April 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

By Jesse Valentine - April 15, 2024
GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

By Jesse Valentine - March 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

By Jesse Valentine - March 08, 2024
Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

By Jesse Valentine - March 07, 2024
Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

By Jesse Valentine - March 04, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Louisiana declares abortion drugs ‘dangerous substances’ to add harsher penalties

Louisiana declares abortion drugs ‘dangerous substances’ to add harsher penalties

By Greg LaRose, Louisiana Illuminator - May 24, 2024
These U.S. Supreme Court cases could affect abortion access nationwide

These U.S. Supreme Court cases could affect abortion access nationwide

By Charlotte Rene Woods, Virginia Mercury - May 24, 2024
Mike Rogers’ ties to Chinese telecom giants fuel hypocrisy scandal

Mike Rogers’ ties to Chinese telecom giants fuel hypocrisy scandal

By Jesse Valentine - May 23, 2024
New rules protect pregnant workers, but red states sue over abortion provisions

New rules protect pregnant workers, but red states sue over abortion provisions

By Anna Claire Vollers - May 22, 2024