Research Outline

Impact of Illegal Immigration on California


To determine whether illegal immigration has a positive or negative impact on the economy and budget of California. The response should include data, graphics and findings that answer the question comprehensively.

Early Findings

  • In California, illegal immigrants contribute about $3 billion in state taxes every year. Due to the fact that they mostly work low-wage jobs, they do not generate a lot of tax revenue.
  • Only 9% of Californians think that the biggest problem facing the state is immigration or illegal immigration.
  • Some studies look at illegal immigrants and their children as a burden on California's public finances. A study by an organization that advocates for reduced immigration concludes that illegal immigrants are generally a fiscal burden due to their low incomes and tax payments. According to the Center for Immigration Studies each illegal immigrant household creates a $2,700 net fiscal deficit for the federal government at a national level due to their low education levels, low income and costs of their native-born children.
  • On the other hand, other studies say that they receive less in services than what they contribute in taxes, because they do not collect benefits and are not eligible for most government services, but they pay Social Security and other taxes. However, illegal immigrants still use healthcare that is linked with pregnancy and emergencies, and their children who are born in the US may be eligible for welfare and other social programs.
  • According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, State and local tax revenue in California would increase by $8.4 million every year if the state allowed illegal immigrants to become citizens.