The Economic Impact of Illegal Immigrants
and the US Economy
The Economic Impact of Illegal Immigrants and the US Economy
According to most American people the view of illegal immigration is often a negative one. Philip Martin, an associate professor at University of California – Davis, wrote in his essay, over 90 percent of American population wanted to stop illegal immigration and another 80 percent wanted to reduce the numbers of illegal immigrants in the United States. (Martin, 1982) Illegal immigrants who “free ride” using the government programs such as unemployment, welfare, education, drain resources for those US citizens. An April 2006 FoxNews poll indicated that 87 percent of those polled expressed concern that illegal immigrants would overburden government programs and services. Sixty-five percent believe that illegal immigrants would cost the country more because they don’t pay taxes yet use public services such as schools and emergency care. The top three proposals in dealing with illegal immigration are: Eighty percent favored building up border patrols, 73 percent favored imposing fines to those employers who hire illegal immigrants, and 59 percent favored allowing temporary status for illegal immigrants. (Fox News, 2006) Free ride is defined as receiving the benefit of a good without paying for it. How will illegal immigrants pay for public goods and services if they do not pay taxes? The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), is an organization whose common belief is to reform immigration policies to secure our nation’s interest. They raise issues regarding the impact illegal immigration on the US economy. FAIR estimated the number of illegal immigrants in the United States, to be approximately 13 million people as of 2007. Other numbers range from 10-12 million between the years of 2004-2006. In 2000, the Census Bureau estimated 8.7 million and that and that the population will grow by at least 500,000 per year. (FAIR, 2008) FAIR says it costs the United States, in 2000, over 36 billion dollars for just three programs (education, medical and incarceration) to accommodate illegal immigrants in the US, with costs projected to be higher in 2010 and 2020 going up to 71 billion dollars and 106 billion dollars, respectively. With this many illegal immigrants one would wonder if America’s resource will be exhausted. Resource such as land, water and natural gas are limited resources and can be used one and then it is gone and no longer available for anyone else to use. Is it right that an illegal immigrant be given access to such resources without paying for them while the American taxpayer bears the expense? This paper will demonstrate how the US economy is impacted. The economic cost of illegal immigrants it taking a toll on the American people at their expense. A population explosion has Americans worried that illegal immigrants will use up public goods and services and will eventually exhaust its resources which were meant for American citizens. The numbers for American unemployment between the years of 2000 and 2007 are 136,559,000 to 146,032,000, respectively. The difference of 9,473,000 people in a 7-year timeframe is a surge in unemployment. Today, unemployment is at an all time high without the added issue of illegal immigrants “taking jobs away” by doing the jobs that no one else would want. Unemployment as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Persons are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work. Persons who were not working and were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been temporarily laid off are also included as unemployed. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010)
The reason why illegal workers are often employed is because it makes it easier for the employer and employee to escape paying taxes. In Ernesto Zedillo’s book, “The Future...
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