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Report on immigrants’ impact on local economy underscores need for White House to retake Economics 101

LatinaLista — While financial experts agree that the Bush Administration is not solely to blame for what has happened on Wall Street in the last two weeks, it did happen under their watch and it was their response all along to Wall Street practices that eventually aggravated the problem that didn’t just pull down the U.S economy but threatened global economies as well.

One would think there is a lesson to be learned by the Bush Administration on how economies work. Yet, in light of a new report on immigrants’ state contributions released today by researchers at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) coupled with current Administration policies, there’s little doubt that the learning curve is still too steep for this Administration to fully understand that their actions targeting a vital part of the economy will have unforeseen repercussions.
In the report titled “Nebraska’s Immigrant Population: Economic and Fiscal Impacts,” university researchers took an objective look at exactly what the costs were to the state for having an immigrant presence. It quantifies, for the first time, how immigrants, both legal and undocumented, don’t just have an impact on the state — they have a multibillion dollar impact on the state’s economy, and it’s in the form of giving rather than receiving.
What they found was that if immigrants disappeared and weren’t replaced in three of Nebraska’s key industries, the state would lose 78,000 jobs, including those filled by U.S.-born workers. Also, the state’s immigrant population contributed about $154 million in the form of property, income, sales and gasoline tax revenue in 2006. It boils down to a $1,554 in per capita contributions. The native-born residents, by contrast, have a per capita contribution of $1, 944. A difference of $390.
In fact, the researchers discovered that the immigrant group pays in about 7 percent more than what it uses in terms of government support.
Yet, the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, under the direction of the Bush Administration, wants us to still believe that undocumented immigrants sap the life out of local economies without giving anything back.
It would seem that on its current course to eradicate the undocumented from the United States the Bush Administration should not repeat its mistake of misreading the economy or it just won’t be Wall Street that suffers but every side street off Main Street plus rural communities and the businesses that are the foundations of Main Street USA.
We know undocumented immigrants contribute to the local economy in terms of labor, sales and gas taxes and, if using a false Social Security card, employment taxes. With news that cities, like Boston, are experiencing major economic downturns, it’s not hard to imagine that smaller towns whose labor force is in part dependent on immigrant labor are or will be suffering the same if not much worse fates.
If the Bush Administration doesn’t want to be known as the presidency that brought down the entire country of Main Streets USA, then they should suspend immigration raids and let people do what they came here to do — work.
In the long run, it’s what keeps local economies afloat.

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  • Grandma
    October 19, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Look at California. Most illegal alien population. State is Bankrupt! Doesn’t take economics 101 to figure that one out.

  • Lisa Votino-Tarrant
    October 20, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Long Island WINS released a report on the economic contributions of immigrants to Long Island today as well, that showed immigrants contribute $2,305 more per resident to local revenues that they received in local expenditures on education, health care, and corrections.
    In total, immigrant Long Islanders added $106. billion to total Long Island output and generated an estimated 82,000 jobs in 2006.
    To view the full report:
    More and more studies are finding the same thing….immigrants are positive for our country…not only for our culture, but economically as well.

  • Sandra
    October 26, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Yes, immigrants are a positive for our country. Not sure what culture has to do with it though. Illegal aliens are not a postive for our communities.

  • Kathleen
    October 27, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I’m sorry but this doesn’t track, unless you are positing a population made up exclusively of illegal immigrants who have no children in the public school system (more than $10,000 a head in Connecticut) and never get sick (emergency room visit???). Either of these would totally wipe out the $1,500 “contribution.”

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