WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the State of the Union Address last night, President Obama made clear his ongoing commitment to immigration reform noting “we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system – to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation.” Some may continue to argue that immigration reform is too politically risky to move on this year and that we should focus instead on rebuilding our economy. However, comprehensive immigration reform is compatible with economic reform as it would generate needed economic growth, create jobs and increase tax contributions by ensuring that everyone working in the United States is doing so legally. In fact, immigration reform would allow us to take full advantage of the opportunities for economic growth that immigrants bring.
Two lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s new immigration law – and the promise of more to come – represent the latest in a surge of outrage over the first-of-its-kind measure to crack down on illegal immigration. The lawsuits follow high-profile protests, calls for boycotts, and a travel advisory from Mexico urging its citizens to steer clear of Arizona.
Many other lawyers say that's a false reading. "Of course they're under our jurisdiction," says Michele Waslin, senior policy analyst with the American Immigration Council, which works to protect the legal rights of immigrants. "If they commit a crime, they're subject to the jurisdiction of the courts."
“There are many reports that confirm immigrants contribute to the economy,” said P.U.E.B.L.O. Executive Director Belen Seara, referring directly to studies from the Immigration Policy Center and the University of Southern California.
The Immigration Policy Center reported via the Texas-based Perryman Group, “If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from California, the state would lose $164.2 billion in expenditures, $72.9 billion in economic output, and approximately 717,000 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time.”
These figures are based in part on income and sales tax revenues and Social Security revenues.
The Immigration Policy Center, based in the nation's capital, pulled together immigration data from a variety of sources. Then it released fact sheets for all 50 states.
The center's Wendy Sefsaf says the study concludes that, if all undocumented workers were booted out of the Northwest immediately, the economic impact would be huge.
Wendy Sefsaf: "The undocumented are part of our workforce and they're people who buy and consume goods. So if you get rid of them, there's less consumers, which means there's less money going into an economy that supports those jobs."
The center's study concludes illegal immigrants have a bigger economic impact in Washington than in other Northwest states. Regionwide, the research estimates spending by undocumented workers is responsible for about 90-thousand jobs.
The Pew Hispanic Center estimates five percent of Oregon workers are undocumented, compared to about three percent in Washington and Idaho.
The Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes the courts of appeals to review “final” removal orders. This Practice Advisory addresses whether a removal decision issued by an Immigration Judge or the BIA is a “final” removal order for purposes of federal court review.
Texas Solicitor General James Ho wrote an analysis for the Immigration Policy Center (posted on immigrationpolicy.org) looking at the Senate debate when the amendment was passed, as well as applicable Supreme Court rulings, and concluded that "birthright is protected no less for children of undocumented persons than for descendants of Mayflower passengers."