During the presidential primaries, candidates and the media focused a great deal of attention on the debate over how immigrants impact state economies and the fiscal balance of state treasuries. At the same time, political pundits and pollsters speculated on the electoral influence of immigrants and Latinos at the voting booth. Below is a brief analysis of the impact that both Latinos and immigrants have on the economies and electorates of the “Super Tuesday” states.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released an estimate of the costs of the “Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement Act” (“SAVE Act,” HR 4088), and concluded that the “SAVE Act” would decrease federal revenues, increase government spending, and create an unfunded mandate for states and private employers.
Tax Day would seem to be an appropriate time to inject some bottom-line reality into the long-running debate over whether or not immigrants in the United States “pay their own way” as taxpayers. As with nearly all aspects of the immigration debate, the controversy over how immigrants impact the public treasury is far too often dominated by emotionally charged rhetoric rather than hard facts. Many of these much-needed facts are provided in a forthcoming report from the Immigration Policy Center by Stephen Moore, Senior Economics Writer at the Wall Street Journal and former director of Fiscal Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, and Richard Vedder, Distinguished Professor of Economics at Ohio University. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2005 Current Population Survey and other sources, Moore and Vedder find that immigrants not only pay their own way in taxes, but play a hefty role in shoring up the teetering Social Security system, and provide a fiscal windfall to U.S. taxpayers by tending to come to the United States during their prime working years—after the costs of their education and upbringing have been borne by their home countries. Read more...
Mandatory electronic employment verification systems would require all American workers, foreign- and native-born alike, to seek the government’s permission to work. This Immigration Fact Check covers what we know about the databases and what we can expect if these bills are passed, including information on database error rates, the impact on the SSA, and employers' misuse of the program.
Arizona's requirement that employers verify workers' employment eligibility via Basic Pilot/E-Verify has yielded negative results for the state, its businesses, and its workers. Other states considering similar measures would do well to pay attention to these results.
The Impact on America's Children Study of Three Raid Sites Finds One Child Affected for Every Two Adults
As the number of worksite immigration raids has increased in recent years, the number of families affected by the raids continues to grow. The number of undocumented immigrants arrested at workplaces increased more than sevenfold from 500 to 3,600 between 2002 and 2006. The Urban Institute and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) closely examined the sites of three workplace raids – in Greeley, Colorado; Grand Island, Nebraska; and New Bedford, Massachusetts. Their recent report, Paying the Price: The Impact of Immigration Raids on America’s Children, highlights one of the most harmful unintended consequences of the raids – the devastation to families and children, many of whom are U.S. citizens. The report does not address whether enforcement activities should take place. Rather, it questions how enforcement is done and the impact that enforcement policies have on Americans. The focus is on children “because they have strong claims to the protection of society, especially when they are citizens and integrated into their schools and communities, and the Unites States is the only country they have known and consider home.” Read more...