Saturday, September 8, 2012

New report: illegals boost AZ economy

Cronkite News Service

WASHINGTON –  A new report challenges the argument that illegal immigrants are a drain on Arizona’s economy.

In fact, said the author of “The Consequences of Legalization Versus Mass Deportation in Arizona,” the state could be throwing away millions in potential tax revenues by trying to drive illegal immigrants out.

“There is a real mass confusion and distortion on the reality of immigrant contribution,” said Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, the director of the North American Integration and Development Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of the report.

Hinojosa-Ojeda’s report for the Center for American Progress argues that if every illegal immigrant in Arizona were legalized, the state could gain up to $540 million in taxes every year. If they were all deported, on the other hand, it would cost the state $2.4 billion in sales, income, motor vehicle and other taxes, he estimated.

Supporters of stricter immigration enforcement wasted no time criticizing the report.
“These are based on a selective set of assumptions,” said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “I don’t know how he came to these numbers.”

Fair has said that illegal immigrants cost the Arizona economy almost $2.6 billion in 2009 for schools, law enforcement, medical care and other costs. It said any taxes paid by illegal immigrant workers “do not come close to the level of expenditures” that state and federal governments have to make on their behalf.

Other immigration and economics experts were not as critical of the report, but said that the underlying assumptions for any immigration claims need to be taken into account.

“These are reasonable assumptions,” said Madeline Zavodny, a professor of economics at Agnes Scott College who has done research on immigration. “But you have to bear in mind that all such reports on something like undocumented immigrants require assumptions to be made.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimated that there were 360,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona in January 2011, up 30,000 from 2000. FAIR estimated the number at 390,000 in 2009.

Hinojosa-Ojeda based his report on estimates of total wages earned by immigrants, taxes they pay and gross state product they generate for the Arizona economy.
“Immigrants contribute heavily to the economy,” he said. “Advocates of mass deportation do not understand the scope of this contribution.”

Their contributions would be even greater if they were legally employed, he said, since they would likely earn more, pay higher taxes and consume more goods and services.
On the flip side, he said, a deportation effort of all illegal immigrants in Arizona would decrease total wages paid by $6.25 billion and lower the gross state product by $13.3 billion.

Hinojosa-Ojeda said the report – one of seven states studied by the center – aims to “strip away” misconceptions about the contributions illegal immigrants make. He said arguments that large-scale deportation will help the economy have “no basis in reality” and that advocates should stop cloaking their anti-immigration sentiments in economic arguments.

But Mehlman challenged the notion that the state economy would be hurt if illegal immigrants left. Just the opposite: He said U.S. workers would easily replace departed immigrants, wages would rise and less money would leave via remittances sent back to immigrants’ home countries.

“All jobs … Americans are prepared to take,” Mehlman said. “It is the wages and conditions that they reject.”

He said illegal immigration is what lets employers get away with such conditions.
But Hinojosa-Ojeda said no American is willing to do the work of an undocumented immigrant.

“Who is going out in the heat to work in the fields?” he asked. “The typical American will not do that type of work for that low wage.”

Michelle Mittelstadt of the Migration Policy Institute, said illegal immigrants occupy a part of the workforce that cannot readily be filled, the “3-D jobs: dangerous, dirty and difficult.”

“Immigrants are a complementary workforce, filling niches in the U.S. economy,” she said.

Zavodny agreed, saying people underestimate the dislocations a mass deportation would cause and that jobs would be left unfilled.

Mittelstadt agreed that currently illegal immigrants would be able to add to the economy if they were legalized. But she was dubious about the 100 percent deportation benchmark used in Hinojosa-Ojeda’s report, saying that would have a significant impact on industries like agriculture and home health care.

She said that Congress has not demonstrated the ability to pass legislation on deportation.

“The idea of enforcement at a federal level in removal of workers in a sustained way is unlikely to happen,” Mittelstadt said.


Debra Speakes said...

It is intuitively obvious that anyone who buys anything here helps boost the economy. However the unemployment level in this state is unacceptable. If it is true that there are jobs that would go unfilled because our citizens refuse to do them, I believe there is a system in place for people from other countries to get a work permit to come and fill those jobs, but the employer has to be able to prove that he tried to fill them with legal residents and could not do so.

I have sympathy for the conditions in Mexico that cause them to risk their lives crossing our desert to come to the land of opportunity. Really, I do. And I have sympathy for the innocent children who get dragged across that desert with them who end up being "people without a country" when they grow up here but are denied citizenship, or worse, deported to a country they don't know because of the crimes of their parents.

But the only way to stop the illegal immigration "problem" is to start enforcing the damned law!

And we should START by immediately deporting any NEW illegals who are discovered. Send them back immediately, before they become part of our workforce, before they require services. The problem is, we find out who they are but are prohibited from deporting them and that is just stupid.

We wouldn't have any 18 year olds graduating from our schools with the promise of a future they will never have if their parents had been booted out of there when those children were still young.

It's unconscionable to toy with these people like this. We know they're here, we let them stay, then we randomly persecute their grown children. Either deport them all or deport none of them, but if we're going to deport, do it the first time we find them, not 20 years later.

Our economy needs to stabilize at the level it should be, and if these people shouldn't be here, then their contribution to the economy shouldn't be here either.

So let's either welcome them and their contributions and be grateful they are willing to dig onions and shovel horse manure at the racetrack and clean our toilets and nanny our children and mow our lawns, or make it clear by enforcing the law that they are not welcome here and send them back as soon as we find them.

And if knowing they will be sent back if they are discovered will stop them from sending their kids to school, or from seeking police help, or from going to the hospital -- well, they won't be a drain on our resources if they're not using any resources, will they?

We can't have it both ways. If we're going to benefit from their labor and benefit from their spending of their wages, then we need to accept that they will require services.

The whole problem wouldn't exist if the Feds hadn't spend the last 50 years or whatever doing NOTHING about illegal immigration while simultaneously forbidding anyone else to do anything about it.

Don't blame the immigrants though. If there's a pile of cookies on the counter and nobody guarding them, you can't blame a hungry man for grabbing one and eating it.

Anonymous said...


Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.

What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

Anonymous said...

Deportation might decrease the total GPD, but it would increase the GDP per citizen. Total GDP = $260 billion. Population = 6.4 million. Deportees 360,00 (by various estimates). Do th emath.

Anonymous said...

Deportation would lower the gross GDP, increase the per capita GDP.

Anonymous said...

Deportation would lower the gross GDP, increase the per capita GDP.

Jason Wright said...

"Anti-Racists" ALL agree that white children only deserve 2 options:

Either embrace their global genocide via massive non-white immigration and forced assimilation targeted at ALL & ONLY white countries;


They are a naziswhowanttokillsixmillionjews & deserve to be harassed, censored, fired, jailed, intimidated, threatened or beat up until they've learned to embrace their genocide.

Anti-Racist is a code word for Anti-White.