Special Reports

Immigration facts and figures

$21.8 billion: What California and local governments will spend this year for services for illegal immigrants and their children.

92% of illegal immigrant households had at least one person working in 2007. By contrast, 73% of households headed by a U.S.-born resident had at least one person working.

75% of illegal immigrants were taxed in 2006.

$11 billion in Social Security taxes were withheld from W-2 filings that could not be matched with valid Social Security numbers in 2007. The government estimated much of that came from illegal immigrants.


On average, illegal immigrant households cost the federal government less than half of what other households cost the government; but illegal immigrant households' tax payments are one-fourth that of other households.

Illegal immigrants are ineligible for most federal public benefits, including:

  • No grant, contract, loan or professional license provided by a federal agency.
  • No retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing.
  • No postsecondary education.
  • No food assistance.
  • No unemployment benefit.
  • The only exceptions are emergency medical care, emergency disaster relief, soup kitchen assistance and crisis counseling.
  • SOURCES: Center for Immigration Studies, Congressional Research Service; Pew Hispanic Center; Federation for American Immigration Reform

    Join the conversation: Go here to comment on these stories.

    Related stories from Fresno Bee