What Does the Border Crisis Mean for Health Care?

August 7, 2014

As illegal immigrants have surged over the southern U.S. border, much of the debate surrounding the problem has focused on immigration policy, border security and what to do about the illegal aliens already in the United States.

But there are also economic and health care implications of the immigration surge. FoxBusiness.com reports that there are between 10 and 12 million illegal aliens in the United States, and minors continue to pour over the border:

  • According to Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), illegal unaccompanied minor children cost taxpayers $252 per child each day, with the typical child spending 35 days in the United States.
  • Three quarters of the unaccompanied minors are male, and most are above the age of 14.
  • From January 2014 to the end of June, more than 57,000 illegal alien minors have entered the United States, up from 15,949 in 2011 and 38,759 in 2013.
  • Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson estimates that up to 90,000 unaccompanied minors will cross the U.S. border before September 30.

NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick notes that illegal aliens have the highest uninsured rates in the United States and that 10 million of the uninsured are illegal immigrants. While illegals are not granted access to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, their children qualify for the program -- putting strains on an already strained system.

Source: Kate Rogers, "The Economic Impact of the Border Crisis," FoxBusiness.com, August 5, 2014. 

 

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