The Growing Costs of Sanctuary State Policies on Illinois Taxpayers

The cost of providing services to undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers is costing Illinois taxpayers an estimated $2.84 billion since July 1, 2022. This does not include education costs or other various state and local services.

Estimated Illinois taxpayer spending on non-citizens from Fiscal Year 2023 to Fiscal Year 2025 include $820 million in support services, which is broken down to $478 million for asylum seeker assistance, $160 million for new additional state investments, and $182 million for emergency funding requests.

While estimated healthcare costs for undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers over the same two-year period are pinned at just over $2 billion, an astounding figure. This includes $619 million in the Fiscal Year 2023 state budget, $773 million in the Fiscal Year 2024 state budget, and $629 million in the proposed Fiscal Year 2025 state budget.

Republican lawmakers have been adamant in questioning Illinois Democrats priorities because of their funding of the meteoric rise in healthcare costs for undocumented immigrants. While Illinois residents and hard-working parents have to pay insurance premiums and co-pays, undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers have largely not been subjected to paying for any part of their healthcare costs, all at the expense of taxpayers. 

The billions of taxpayer dollars being spent on undocumented immigrants directly takes away funds that could be used to support essential programs for all Illinois citizens, including seniors and those most economically and socially vulnerable. Illinois is one of only five states in the nation that provide Medicare-like benefits, at taxpayer cost, to undocumented immigrants. 

House Republican lawmakers in Illinois have, meanwhile, sponsored legislation to put a much-needed moratorium on healthcare benefits to non-citizens (House Resolution 220) as well as legislation to repeal the Illinois Trust Act (House Bill 4187), which defined Illinois as a Sanctuary State for immigrants and migrants.