Americans on a daily basis are bombarded with broadcasts from newspapers, television, and special interest groups on the economic burdens created by illegal immigrants. Reports and statistics of growing state and local deficits; is it fact or fiction? In reality, undocumented Mexicans are necessary to the health of our economy. They provide a workforce in agriculture they keep the costs down; they contribute millions in taxes annually they help to stabilize the economy. Immigrants after all, are not just workers, but consumers and demand for products and services which in turn creates new jobs.
In fact our economy needs illegal immigrants to help in stabilizing our economy. The negativity towards the millions that cross over our borders illegally has been expressed in a multitude of ways. Broadcasted across the nation are accounts of the economic burden of illegal immigration. The net fiscal cost of immigration ranges from $11 billion to $22 billion per year, with most government expenditures on immigrants coming from state and local coffers. (Center for Immigration Studies, 2007). Network news promote stories on the economic burdens of illegal immigrants.
Local newspapers mirror stories on the costs illegal immigrants have on healthcare and education for local and state municipalities. Some other real statistics Americans look at that fuel their distaste for illegal immigration were found and posted by the Illegal Immigration Statistics are: * Real Statistics Less than 2% of all illegal immigrants in the US are working crop fields, but 41% are on welfare. Over 43% of all issued food stamps go to illegal immigrants.
* Over 41% of all US unemployment checks go to illegal immigrants. Nearly 1/3 of all federal and state prisons are illegal immigrants – costing taxpayers over $1. 6 billion annually. 58% of all US welfare payments go to illegal immigrants. (Bruce, Mauriello, 2010) Americans of all backgrounds are still seriously concerned about the negative impact of illegal immigration, such as with the number of bankrupted hospitals, overcrowded schools, and increased crime. Taxpayers pay dearly for this, the high cost of so-called “cheap labor” for some unscrupulous employers and their political allies who for decades have watered down immigration laws.
For example, in California alone, as of 2004 the net cost of illegal immigration to taxpayers is estimated to be nearly $9 billion annually. Strong feedback from focus groups of citizen activists who take some part in the struggle to have America’s borders secured and existing immigration laws enforced, tell us these reasons why they are so alarmed: * Anchor Babies: Birthright Citizenship Exploited * Depreciated Wages for Americans and Legal Immigrants
* Not Speaking English, loss of common language * Stolen American Taxpayer Resources: Tuition, Welfare, Licenses * Closed and Overcrowded Hospitals and Emergency Rooms Document Fraud In recent polls taken 78% of likely voters were opposed to legalizing the status of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the U. S. (Pulse Opinion Research, LLC, September, 2009). 61% of likely American voters oppose providing a path to US citizenship for those illegal immigrants who entered the United States illegally, and who fraudulently obtained green cards and Social Security numbers, when millions are playing by the rules and waiting in their countries to enter the United States legally, (April 2007, McLaughlin and Associates Poll).
Yet this controversy over the economic burdens illegal immigrants have on local state municipalities is one that can be subjected to debate. In states where there are high numbers of illegal immigration you will find low percentages of unemployment. In fact the overall economy of states such as California, Texas, and Arizona has somehow remained fairly stable throughout the past few years. Time and again news worthy stories will outwardly display the attitude that millions of dollars in state funding goes towards the education of the children of illegal immigration not to mention the burden they have on our health care systems.
All true and yet, rarely spoken is the flipside of this coin where statistics from the Bloomberg Business Week has stated: Each year, for example, the U. S. Social Security Administration maintains roughly $6 billion to $7 billion of Social Security contributions in an “earnings suspense file” — an account for W-2 tax forms that cannot be matched to the correct Social Security number. The vast majority of these numbers are attributable to undocumented workers who will never claim their benefits.
If those funds could be earmarked for local support, they would make a sizable dent in education costs. Local school districts are estimated to educate 1. 8 million undocumented children. At an average annual cost of $7,500 (averages vary by jurisdiction) per student, the cost of providing education to these children is about $11. 2 billion. That means roughly half of the education costs for undocumented immigrant children could be met if these Social Security funds could be redirected. (Robert McNatt, Frank Benassi, 2006)
The politics of these types of unused benefits and how they are used will probably never resolve themselves. It clearly might be a tremendous offset to the overburdened municipalities. Undocumented workers on the clock seem to be giant contributors to our social security administration. With those deductions comes a bank of millions in state, local, and federal taxing. But for every dollar on the clock you will find two dollars off. After living in Southern California for twenty years it’s not a secret that every home depot is a jackpot of day laborers at the ready.
For $40 a day and the price of a lunch you’ve bought yourself a day laborer. Here is a recent graph of their contribution to the workforce: Agriculture alone houses and employed thousands of illegal immigrants. Without whom farmers could hardly afford to harvest their crops. Regardless of the debate over illegal immigration, we have to weigh the advantages over the disadvantages. Sure they contribute millions of dollars to our economy on every level. From sales tax to real estate tax and every other tax out there they are by far an asset.
Illegal immigrants help to stabilize low-paying job markets; they pick up the slack of citizens who are unwilling to work in trades that require little or no education and pay very little. Agriculture alone without migrant workers and undocumented workers would not be able harvest their crops at a cost acceptable to the overall market. Without their efforts in this workforce every citizen would burden the elevated costs of our produce. Without their numbers crops would die on the vine. Farmers everywhere would suffer and perhaps have to park their trackers permanently.
If every undocumented worker currently filling those jobs on farms be suddenly unavailable America would be in a crisis. It would be an undaunting task to hire new workers to replace them. The cost increase at the super markets would put our economy into a tailspin. Farm labor contractors and most other employees in the California’s multibillion-dollar agriculture industry rely almost exclusively on illegal immigrants. Fake documentation is readily available with farm workers pretending to be legal residents and employers pretender they don’t know any better.
As stated by Joseph Riofrio, a city councilman for the town of Mendota, California, “It’s a necessary game. If this game doesn’t continue, then the fruit isn’t picked, the vegetable aren’t picked, and the vibrant agriculture industry stops. ”(Chris Collins, 2010) And yet without these very immigrants the building of our great nation would have suffered greatly. I will help you take a journey throughout a brief part of American history concerning illegal immigration and look in depth into the economic effects it has on the United States.
With facts and figures along with individual testimony you may find yourself having the very subject you were once definitive about, and the stand you once took start to sway. Try to leave behind your thoughts on the subject matter, consider and listen while I share with you compiled research on the subject matter. This paper will present a different account of illegal immigration that will convincingly argue their presence as more beneficial than Americans would have been led to believe; which in fact, our economy needs immigrants and relies on them to help stabilize aspects of our economy.
Undocumented workers overall create new jobs through living here and having the same life-style demands as we do. They have cell phones, enjoy cable TV; they purchase vehicles they require fueling up on a regular basis. They buy food, cigarettes, liquor; they get haircuts, and go to restaurants. Illegal immigrants seem to have very little impact on unemployment rates. Overall, illegal immigrants don’t have a big impact on U. S. wage rates. That’s because most Americans don’t directly compete with illegal immigrants for jobs.
Also, by filling these unskilled labor openings, illegal immigration contributes to keeping the U. S, economy prosperous and affluent. Those undocumented workers represent $56 billion dollars in earnings, $6 billion in Social Security, and $1. 5 billion for Medicare. The economic benefits of illegal immigration are two-fold: taxes and spending, (Andre Tartar, 2009). The U. S. economy indeed benefits from illegal immigrants in who supply foreign workforce that complements rather than competes with the local workforce in the United States. It’s hard to imagine that illegal immigrants contribute in a positive way to our economy but they do.