New Report from Center for American Progress: Deportation vs. Legalization in Texas

Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda with the Center for American Progress wrote on 8/30/2012:

Debates about the economic and fiscal benefits and drawbacks of immigrants typically oversimplify the role that immigrants play in our economy. When one looks more closely, they will find that the impact that immigrants (or any group for that matter) have on the economy is multifaceted and complex.

Immigrants are not just workers; they are also consumers and taxpayers. The effects of their labor and consumption on economic growth and fiscal health must be factored in as we consider how to address the situation of a large undocumented workforce.

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Public News Service: Profit Motive May Be Influencing Immigration Policies

By Peter Malof, published July 26, 2012:

AUSTIN, Texas – The for-profit prison sector would have been hit hard by the Great Recession had it not been for expanded federal immigration enforcement. That’s according to a just-released report by The Sentencing Project. States suffering budget shortfalls, like Texas, have trimmed prison populations, reducing the need for new private contracts. But federal agencies have helped take up the slack by increasingly relying on private facilities to hold detainees awaiting hearings, according to Cody Mason, who authored the report.

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Bloomberg: Texas GOP Shift May Show Way Out of Immigration Stalement

Reported June 28, 2012:

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson rose nervously to urge Republicans at the state party’s convention to support a national guest-worker program for millions of undocumented residents.

Two years earlier, the party that dominates the second-most populous state had called for a crackdown on illegal immigrants.

“‘Well, here’s the end of a political career,’” Patterson said, recalling his thought as he looked over the June 8 gathering in the Fort Worth Convention Center. Instead, the delegates passed the platform with the guest-worker plan.

In Texas, the state with the second-largest illegal- immigrant population, Republicans have softened their stance toward them. The vote reflected a more pragmatic view of years past, such as when Governor Rick Perry signed a first-in-the- nation 2001 law that gave undocumented residents in-state tuition rates at public colleges. It preceded a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week that voided most of an Arizona law cracking down on people in the country illegally.

“I’m no bleeding heart; I oppose birthright citizenship,” said Patterson, 65, whose elected office controls state lands and mineral rights. “But we need the labor.”

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KERA: Supreme Court Arizona Ruling Impacts Farmers Branch

On June 26, 2012 Bill Zeeble (KERA) wrote:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Arizona may shut down any more attempted restrictions on Farmers Branch apartment renters.

The court struck down most of an Arizona law targeting illegal immigrants. Farmers Branch wanted to make all renters get citizenship clearance before they could move in. But David Hinojosa, with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), said the Farmers Branch law was thrown out in lower court, and the Supreme Court ruling just confirms that.

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Fox News Latino: Immigration Summit – Are Undocumented Workers Really Taking ‘American’ Jobs?

On June 12, 2012 Elizabeth Llorente (Fox News Latino) wrote:

Atlanta, Ga. – Agricultural and restaurant business leaders say Arizona-style laws aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration threaten their industry.

They’re appealing to Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform to avert what they describe as a crisis.

The leaders took part Monday in what was billed as the first immigration summit in the Southeast, where agricultural businesses are prevalent and where an increasing number of immigrants — many undocumented — have settled in the last decade.

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CNN – Citizenship for Sale: Foreign investors flock to U.S.

On June 11, 2012, James O’Toole wrote for CNN Money:

Good riddance, Eduardo.

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin drew public ire last month following the revelation that he had renounced his U.S. citizenship, a move widely seen as a tax dodge. But thousands of wealthy foreigners are lining up to replace him, making investments here and putting themselves on a path to citizenship in the process.

The State Department expects to issue over 6,000 “investor visas” in the current fiscal year, which would be an all-time record. Other countries, meanwhile, are following the U.S.’s lead, keen to spur growth in lean economic times.

“Our goal is certainly job creation, and that’s what this program is all about,” said Bill Wright, a spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. “At the same time, it’s allowing somebody from a foreign country to come and invest in our nation.” Read more »

SA Express News: Rep. Larson wants Mexico to reimburse Texas for illegal immigrants

Jason Buch writes:

State Rep. Lyle Larson is asking Mexican President Felipe Calderón to pay for services that Texas provides immigrants who are here illegally.

In a March 21 letter, Larson, R-San Antonio, wrote that the state spends between $6 billion and $8 billion a year on health care and other costs for illegal immigrants, a number he attributed to the Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas.Larson, who filed a bill during the 2011 legislative session that would have required state agencies and organizations that receive state funding to track the services they provide immigrants, said he wants to “start a dialogue.”

“We need to sit down and figure this out from an economic viewpoint,” he said. “I don’t believe anybody I’m aware of has asked the people in power in Mexico for compensation.”

In August, Gov. Rick Perry sent a bill to the federal government for $349 million for the cost of incarcerating illegal immigrants. Perry’s office did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.  Read more …

Tucson Examiner: New study shows importance of immigrants to U.S. economy

By Luke Witman, March 18, 2012:

Earlier this month, the Federation for American Immigration Reform debuted a new advertising campaign urging the federal government to restrict the number of legal immigrants admitted to the U.S. each year. FAIR argues that in our current economy, we need to work to preserve the paucity of available jobs for natural born U.S. citizens. Many have repeatedly made the same argument, especially during periods of economic distress: immigrants come and take our jobs, so we need to restrict how many can come in the first place. However, it has yet to be proven that stricter immigration controls will in any way reduce unemployment in this country.

A new study by the Brookings Institution and the Partnership for a New Economy actually reveals quite the opposite, essentially showing that natural born citizens and immigrants are rarely in competition for the same jobs. In both the skilled and unskilled labor markets, immigrants in fact inhabit a unique position, taking jobs that non-immigrants are too often unwilling or unable to take. Thus, the study reveals that the U.S. economy is actually dependent on an immigrant workforce, and severe restriction of the number of immigrants allowed to enter this country could be a detriment to our nation’s economy.  Read more …

Washington Post: Why immigrant workers are critical to the economic recovery

On March 16, 2012, J.D. Harrison writes:

Foreign-born workers represent an exceptionally high share of the labor force in roughly half of the country’s fastest-growing and largest-growing sectors, according to new analysis of government data, suggesting that immigrants have a critical role to play in the ongoing economic recovery. Read more …