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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