As I wrote here, another finacnial cost for which the Republican Legislature did not account is the increase in foster care after enforcement of its Anti-Immigration Bill begins. According to this article,
Denise Raines, director of the DeKalb County Department of Human Resources, said Alabama’s new immigration law could increase the number of foster children in the state if it’s enforced as written.
Raines said many Hispanics who may be in the county – or the state – illegally have children who were born in the United States, which makes them legal citizens.
She said if the new law leads to an increase in deportation of parents who are in the country illegally, DHR and other state-funded agencies could soon be dealing with a marked increase of dependent children, which would put a further strain on state resources.
Raines said traditionally this hasn’t been a problem because in most cases, up to now, in the case of illegal immigrants only one parent – usually the father – is deported.
She said an increase in both parents being deported could lead to children who are legal citizens, who are left behind, being placed in foster homes. Because foster parents receive a stipend, that could end up costing taxpayers more money.
In addition to the foster parent stipend, the State will also pay the accompanying education, transportation assistance, possible group-home expenses, counseling, therapy, and medical costs for each respective child. This is why I say this is the fiscal Achilles heal of this legislation. The Legislature did nor increase DHR’s budget by one cent to account for the fiscal impact of this legislation.
The situation is worse than Ms. Raines anticipates though because, note, she only discusses US born children i.e. sitizens. However, I expect DHR to also assume custody of non-citizen and undocumented children as well. I doubt Juvenile Courts will find a deportation centers to be in the “best interest” of the child.
If just 30% of the undocumented population in Alabama are children; that means there could be approximately 36000 undocumented children in Alabama. Add to that all the children which have been born in the US.
“Family values” and “Fiscal Responsibility” at work.