This is part four in a series about the toll that the Biden Administration’s intentional promotion of illegal immigration is taking on the states and the public.[Read Part 1 (national overview); Part 2 (Texas); and Part 3 (Florida).]
As the border crisis persists, and illegal aliens disperse into every congressional district in the country, each state is affected by the financial strain of mass illegal immigration.
The state of New York, which welcomes illegal aliens with sanctuary policies, is now witnessing the toll mass illegal immigration takes on its hospitals, education systems, and, most importantly, its residents.
A recent analysis reveals that the Empire State bears an astounding annual cost of $9.9 billion in government services that benefit more than 1 million illegal aliens and their approximately 372,000 U.S.-born children.
Within that figure, a significant portion is allocated to educational services. Specifically, New York dedicates $4.65 billion to educate illegal aliens, with $226 million directed toward their discounted in-state college tuition. Additionally, $1.75 billion is allocated to law enforcement, legal, and correctional services. Health care expenses and public assistance amount to an additional $3.5 billion.
That translates to an average cost of $6,846 per illegal alien, imposing an additional burden of $1,321 on each New York household.
Since last spring, New York City has faced a tsunami of illegal migrant arrivals, straining the city’s taxpayers. The city’s budget director, Jacques Jiha, estimates that residents will need to contribute an additional $4.2 billion by next year to address the challenges posed by this migrant crisis.
With an estimated 1,000 illegal aliens arriving weekly in the Big Apple, the city currently spends $8 million daily to house them. Mayor Eric Adams argues that it is “unfair” and demands other counties’ assistance, but many counties, having witnessed the turmoil caused by sanctuary policies, are refusing to comply.
In response, Adams has filed lawsuits against more than 30 counties for issuing emergency executive orders that prevent hotels from housing illegal aliens.
What is truly unfair are the sanctuary policies of New York City.
Those policies attract illegal aliens to the state and strain its resources. Adams has contributed to the crisis by making it easier for illegal aliens to reside longer within the city.
A nationwide study concluded that an increase in population leads to an increase in crime rates. New York City witnessed a 22.4% surge in crime between 2021 and 2022, underscoring the human consequences that sanctuary policies, coupled with a soft-on-crime approach, often overlook.
Tragic incidents have occurred within makeshift migrant facilities, such as the case of a four-month-old girl from Ecuador found unresponsive and later pronounced dead. The same hotel has witnessed 10 drunken illegal aliens arrested for assault and disorderly conduct. Reports indicate that illegal aliens camp outside of hotels instead of seeking refuge in migrant shelters, resulting in an environment hotel employees state is rife with violence, sexual misconduct, and drug use.
To alleviate pressure on the shelter system, the city has partnered with houses of worship, paying $125 per migrant, per night, to 50 participating churches. This partnership is expected to expand, with each church housing up to 1,000 male migrants, costing $54,000 daily.
Additionally, hotels are paid an average of $256 per night to house illegal aliens. That arrangement often leads to a surge in hotel prices for the government and regular hotel customers alike, consequently benefiting the hospitality sector while compromising public safety.
With hotels being used to accommodate illegal aliens, the thriving tourism industry of New York is now facing significant risk. New York City attracts an impressive influx of about 70 million tourists annually, generating an astounding economic impact of more than $80 billion. Concerns surrounding tourism has been expressed by Adams, who recognizes the challenges faced by tourists in locating available hotel accommodations.
New York’s sanctuary policies have become extraordinarily costly, and Adams has been forced to cut city services to afford them. That includes reductions in subsidized day care, library hours, meals for senior citizens, reentry programs for released inmates, and even the right to shelter for the homeless.
In the process, it sets a dangerous precedent: New York prioritizes harboring illegal aliens over implementing policies that protect its legal residents.
Despite the cost, the city remains steadfast in its commitment to continue with those initiatives. Adams is floating a plan to send 100 illegal aliens to community colleges, with taxpayers covering the $1.2 million cost.
In 2022, the state of New York granted full Medicaid coverage to illegal aliens over the age of 65, costing more than $20,000 per enrollee annually. New York's statewide Medicaid coverage is extensive, encompassing expensive treatments, such as chemotherapy and dialysis, all paid for by taxpayers.
Adams called on the Biden administration for comprehensive immigration reform and nationwide “decompression strategies”; that is, the forced relocation of illegal aliens across the nation.
The most effective "decompression strategy" would be the elimination of sanctuary and open-border policies, along with the elimination of financial incentives that attract illegal aliens to the Empire State specifically, and to the United States generally.
Americans have expressed their dissatisfaction with unrestricted illegal immigration. It’s crucial that the American people, together with Congress, ensure that the Biden administration, including Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Vice President Kamala Harris, who was designated as the border czar, are held responsible for their open-border policies.
The time has long past to implement stricter border control measures, prioritize detention over the release of illegal aliens, establish comprehensive screening protocols, and expedite the deportation process for aliens with false asylum claims.
States such as New York are experiencing firsthand the repercussions of open borders and sanctuary city policies. New York must eliminate taxpayer-funded privileges such as subsidized in-state college tuition, public assistance programs, and free housing for illegal aliens.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal