NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


May 2, 2006

What would a day without illegal aliens really be like?

If illegal aliens all took the day off and were truly invisible for one day, there would be some plusses along with the mild inconveniences, says Tom Tancredo, a Republican congressman from Colorado.

For example:

  • Hospital emergency rooms across the southwest would have about 20-percent fewer patients, and there would be 183,000 fewer people in Colorado without health insurance.
  • OBGYN wards in Denver would have 24-percent fewer deliveries, maternity-ward deliveries in Los Angeles would drop by 40 percent and maternity billings to Medi-Cal would drop by 66 percent.
  • Youth gangs would see their membership drop by 50 percent in many states, and in Phoenix, child-molestation cases would drop by 34 percent and auto theft by 40 percent.

In Durango, Colorado, and the Four Corners area and the surrounding Indian reservations, the methamphetamine epidemic would slow for one day, as the 90 percent of that drug now being brought in from Mexico was held in Albuquerque and Farmington a few hours longer. According to the sheriff of La Plata County, Colorado, meth is now being brought in by ordinary illegal aliens as well as professional drug dealers.

  • If illegal aliens stayed home -- in Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, and 100 other countries --the Border Patrol would have 3,500 fewer apprehensions (of the 12,000 who try each day).
  • Colorado taxpayers would save almost $3,000,000 in one day if illegals do not access any public services, because illegal aliens cost the state over $1 billion annually according to the best estimates.
  • Colorado's K-12 school classrooms would have 131,000 fewer students if illegal aliens and the children of illegals were to stay home, and Denver high schools' dropout rate would once again approach the national norm.

Source: Tom Tancredo, "A Day Without an Illegal Immigrant: An imaginary exercise," New Republic, May 01, 2006.


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