On Thursday, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will release its report on “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration.” According to the report, first generation immigrants as a group increase the nation’s fiscal deficit. In other words, the government benefits they receive exceed the taxes paid.
The National Academies’ report provides 75-year fiscal projections for new immigrants and their descendants. The fiscal impact varies greatly according to the education level of the immigrant. Low-skill immigrants are shown to impose substantial fiscal costs that extend far into the future. The future government benefits they will receive greatly exceed the taxes they will pay. …
[A]s each adult immigrant without a high school diploma enters the country, the government would need to immediately put aside and invest $231,000 to cover the future net fiscal cost (total benefits minus total taxes) of that immigrant.
Converting a net present value figure into future outlays requires information on the exact distribution of costs over time. That data is not provided by the National Academies.
However, a rough estimate of the future net outlays to be paid by taxpayers (in constant 2012 dollars) for immigrants without a high school diploma appears to be around $640,000 per immigrant over 75 years.