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Report: Kentucky Illegal Immigration Cost Unclear

From Kentucky Public Radio's Tony McVeighThe overall cost of illegal immigration on Kentucky government is not known. At least that’s what a legislative research report released in Frankfort says.The 18-month study conducted by the staff of a legislative oversight panel estimates 30-to-60 thousand unauthorized, or illegal, immigrants reside in Kentucky. They consume public services and pay taxes and fees, but their net fiscal impact on state and local government could not be determined, says Rick Graycarek, of the project staff. “And the reason goes back to one of the main points. Nobody really knows how many are here and it’s very difficult to estimate how many unauthorized aliens access public services and programs.”However, the 63-page report estimates the costs to education in the state at around 25-million dollars; two-point-three million dollars for emergency medical services; and up to three million dollars for state and local correctional services. The report offered a couple of suggestions for reducing some of the costs, which lawmakers will consider in coming months.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.