The Center for Immigration Studies says passage of the DREAM Act would cost American taxpayers at least $6.2 billion per year. According to CIS, at least 1.2 million illegal aliens would enroll in public colleges and universities, qualifying for in-state tuition rates. The average $6,000 in-state tuition benefit would be subsidized by the taxpayers.
"These institutions where most of these kids can be expected to enroll are in dire straits," said Steven Camarota, Director of Research at CIS. "Right now it's an unfunded mandate that would come at the expense of not just taxpayers but kids trying to get into these schools."
Camarota said that the DREAM Act in its current form could crowd out current U.S. citizens because of the funding issue.
"If the act does not want any crowding out effect, then Congress has to provide money to community colleges and state universities," Camarota said. "The only way there's no crowding out is if you imagine there are not limited spaces, if you imagine there are not limited funds."
Over the past two days, Rep. Steve King and Sen. David Vitter have urged the Congressional Budget Office to score the DREAM Act. Last night, the CBO released its analysis of the bill and said that it could actually reduce the federal deficit. However, the CBO did not analyze the costs associated with in-state tuition because it considers in-state tuition as an unmandated cost, but it did say "state and local colleges and universities may experience increased enrollment as a result of this bill."
For more information, see the Center for Immigration Studies.
Updated: Fri, Dec 3rd 2010 @ 12:39pm EST