Illegal immigration costs the state as much as $6 billion a year according to a study by the Austin-based Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas. With the lion's share of that money spent on educating the children of illegal immigrants. MALDEF takes issue with the findings; arguing it doesn’t consider the federal income taxes, Social Security taxes or gasoline taxes they pay. In the Texas House a bill introduced by state Rep. John Zerwas, R-Houston would require state agencies to report “the cost of services and benefits provided to unlawfully present immigrants.” House Bill 276 was heard in committee this week along with a host of other immigration-related bills. T Others are also critical for example Randy Capps, a demographer and senior policy analyst for the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., and Eva DeLuna Castro, a budget analyst for the Center for Public Policy Priorities, an Austin group that advocates for poor Texans say the state doesn’t completely fund public education. Property taxes collected by local districts mainly pay that bill, and unauthorized immigrants pay into that system as property owners or renters. They also pay the gasoline tax, one-fourth of which goes to schools, and sales taxes on most purchases. “Every individual costs more than they pay in taxes,” Capps said. “That’s true for every state. … It’s likely that unauthorized families cost the state a little more.” But, he said, Bernsen misses “the bigger picture of the contributions of the immigrant to the economy.”
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