Since the mid-1980s, the federal government has tried repeatedly, without success, to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants to the United States with immigration-enforcement initiatives: deploying more agents, fences, flood lights, aircraft, cameras, and sensors along the southwest border with Mexico; increasing the number of worksite raids and arrests conducted throughout the country; expanding detention facilities to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants apprehended each year; and creating new bureaucratic procedures to expedite the return of detained immigrants to their home countries. At the same time, the economic integration of North America, the western hemisphere, and the world has accelerated, facilitating the rapid movement of goods, services, capital, information, and people across international borders. Moreover, the U.S. economy demands more workers at both the high-skilled and less-skilled ends of the occupational spectrum than the rapidly aging, native-born population provides. The U.S. government’s enforcement-without-reform approach to undocumented immigration has created an unsustainable contradiction between U.S. immigration policy and the U.S. economy. So far, the economy is winning.
During his first trip to the United States in April 2008, Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the importance of treating immigrants in the U.S. in dignified and humane manner. Without missing a beat, anti-immigrant voices, including CNN anchor Lou Dobbs and U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo (R-Littleton), took the occasion to push their rhetoric to a new level, lambasting the Pope for his comments.
This fact sheet shows that using the National Directory of New Hires for employment verification purposes, as called for in the "New Employee Verification Act of 2008" (HR5515), would seriously undermine the goals and effectiveness of the child support system, and furthermore, that the directory is not set up for employment eligibility verification purposes and could not be easily adapted.
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...