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more educational services, (2) immigrant-headed households are poorer than native households on average and therefore receive more state and locally funded income transfers, and (3) immigrant-headed households have lower incomes than native households on average and thus pay lower state and local taxes.
There are, however, important variations within the immigrant population in the size of the net annual fiscal impact imposed on native residents. Current immigrants over the age of 65 are net fiscal contributors to native residents in New Jersey, but they are a small net fiscal burden on native residents in California. However, almost all of the fiscal burdens imposed on native households by immigrants come from immigrant households whose head is younger than 65. Among the younger immigrant households, the net burden imposed on natives is by far the greatest for those immigrants from Latin American countries. In fact, immigrant households of European or Canadian origin make a net fiscal contribution to the native households of New Jersey and California through the state and local budgets in those states.
On average, immigrant-headed households in California made a net fiscal contribution to the federal budget in fiscal year 1994-95, receiving less in services and transfers than they paid in taxes. The positive fiscal impact of immigrant households at the federal level arises because they are assumed to impose no additional burden on the federal budget for national defense, specified here as a ''pure" public good. The one exception to this pattern is the immigrant-headed households from Latin America; those households were a fiscal burden even at the federal level.
New Jersey and California are both states with high immigration, and as a consequence, the net annual fiscal impact of immigrant-headed households on native residents in those states—particularly from the services provided through state and local governments—are high as well. If these net fiscal burdens from immigrant households were shared not just within the states but nationally, then the burden per native resident would fall significantly. Estimates of the net fiscal burden imposed on all 89,019,000 U.S. native households by all 9,156,000 U.S. immigrant-headed households through all levels of government range from $166 per native household to $226 per native household. The lower estimate gives all U.S. immigrant households the New Jersey state and local budget; the higher estimate gives all U.S. immigrant households the California state and local budget.
A decision to admit 460,000 new immigrant-headed households—assuming those households match the economic and demographic attributes of immigrant-headed households now in the United States—would add about $10 per household to next year's net fiscal burdens for New Jersey residents and about $45 per household to next year's net fiscal burden for California residents. Nationally, admitting an additional 460,000 immigrant-headed households would lead to an increase in next year's net fiscal burden on all U.S. native households