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Crackdown on immigrant workers bad for the economy

Published on Thu, Mar 31, 2011

Other labor rights advocates are drawing attention to the federal government’s ongoing crackdown on immigrant workers. Worksite audits which require employers to check the immigration status of their workers have resulted in thousands of layoffs in recent months. This sweeping trend hurts families as well as local economies, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center.

The report specifically looks at the economic impact of immigrant workers in Arizona, but its findings present much wider implications. Marcos Restrepo at The Colorado Independent sums up the key points:

• The analysis estimates that immigrants on the whole paid $6 billion in taxes in 2008, while undocumented immigrants paid approximately $2.8 billion.

• Increase tax revenues by $1.68 billion.

The report adds that the effects of deportation in Arizona would:

• Decrease total employment by 17.2 percent.

• Eliminate 581,000 jobs for immigrant and native-born workers alike.

• Shrink the state economy by $48.8 billion.

• Reduce state tax revenues by 10.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the effects of legalization in Arizona would:

• Add 261,000 jobs for immigrant and native-born workers alike.

• Increase labor income by $5.6 billion.

Restrepo adds that, in part because of such mounting evidence, immigrants rights advocates are exhorting authorities to recognize immigrants as workers, first and foremost.

 

Published in the Campus Progress | Read Article