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Public Statements

Issue Position: Hold foreign countries accountable for illegal immigration

Issue Position

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Date:
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Did you know that state funded agencies are not required to verify citizenship of individuals to whom they provide service?

Texans have no idea exactly how much is spent to provide state services to undocumented immigrants.

For decades Texas taxpayers have speculated exactly how much we spend to provide state services to illegal immigrants. With state leaders projecting an $18 billion budget shortfall, Texans should demand to know how much it's costing them to provide these services to individuals who are in this country illegally. Estimates for this figure are as high as $4.5 billion.

How many legitimate American citizens / Texas taxpayers -- whom state funded agencies were set up to serve -- are forced to do without because undocumented immigrants are unfairly burdening our system?

I will propose legislation that would require every agency, individual, nonprofit organization, and public or private entity that receives state funding to determine and report citizenship information before rendering services. This will include agencies and organizations that provide health care, education, corrections, welfare and any other service that is partially or completely funded by the state.

According to a December 2006 study by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts entitled, Undocumented Immigrants in Texas, "Calculating the impact of undocumented immigrants on the Texas economy and state budget is at best an educated guess. This is a result of the difficulty in calculating the number of undocumented immigrants in the state and the number who access state paid services. It is difficult to count a population that does not want to be counted, particularly when the law allows them access to many government services without regard to citizenship, such as those delivered by public hospitals and public schools."

Undocumented Immigrants in Texas, includes a detailed analysis of the cost to provide state services to illegal immigrants. In several places throughout the document, the authors remind us that all of the data provided is based on estimates and educated conjectures, because, as they put it, "Any estimate of state costs associated with undocumented immigrants is imprecise due to the difficulties involved in determining their numbers" and "Because the Texas Health and Human Services Commission makes no distinction between legal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, refugees and those awarded asylum, costs attributed to undocumented immigrants must be estimated."

In order to hold other countries accountable for hosting their citizens, we must have real, true numbers -- not estimates. With documentation of how much we spend to provide services to undocumented immigrants, we can draft an invoice to send these countries' governments, demanding reimbursement for services rendered.

If elected, I will pursue a state law requiring every agency, organization and individual that receives any state funding to determine and report citizenship information.

Illegal immigration isn't simply a threat to our sovereignty. This problem has huge financial implications that affect every Texas taxpayer. Now is the time for us to take action.


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