If you listen to the rhetoric, they take jobs away from Americans, drain billions from our economy and pose a threat to the safety of our nation, but in reality immigrants are good for America and creating a path to citizenship creates new jobs, increases tax revenue and reduces crime, while deporting 12 million people is impractical and would cost the economy jobs, decrease tax revenue and cause an increase in crime.
This is just another case of the Republican Party using fear and lies to advance an agenda that is not in the best interest of the American people.
The most common and the most exploited misconception is that deporting more than 12 million undocumented immigrants would create jobs, and allowing immigrants to have a path to citizenship would take jobs away from American citizens.
According to studies by the CATO Institute and the United States Chamber of Commerce, deporting our undocumented immigrant population would cost our economy jobs.
The removal of 12 million undocumented immigrants would also be the removal of 12 million consumers. Removing that many consumers from our nation would cost the economy more than $184 billion in lost wages, the fallout from doing so would eliminate nearly 250,000 jobs.
Some industries would experience extreme labor shortages and these shortages would cause a rise in prices. An example would be agriculture, labor shortages would cause the price of produce and other agricultural products to rise.
Tax Revenue vs. Cost
Many would like for you believe that undocumented immigrants are a drain on the economy, and giving them a path to citizenship would increase government costs for social services.
In reality, just the opposite is true.
Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for food stamps, unemployment, Medicaid or other public assistance programs. Legal immigrants do not qualify for public assistance until they have been in the country for more than five years.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), providing a path to legal status would cost the federal government $23 billion, but it would increase tax revenues by $48 billion, which leaves a surplus of $25 billion per year.
Studies by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), undocumented immigrants pay more than $10.6 billion in state and local taxes and providing them with legal status would increase that amount to $12.6 billion.
The CBO study shows that immigration reform would reduce the deficit by more than $197 billion, and according to the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, an increase in immigrant workers would actually lead to a rise in wages for U.S. born workers.
Immigration reform would not increase crime, it would reduce crime.
According to the CATO Institute’s study, allowing large numbers of undocumented immigrants into the country causes concerns about the increase in crime.
Not because the immigrants are inherently evil, as Republicans would like for you to believe, but because large numbers of people with limited legal means in which to provide for themselves and their families are more prone to commit crime than those with adequate opportunities to provide for their families legally.
This is a fact regardless of race. Most of us would do things that we would never consider doing under normal circumstances, if we saw no other option to feed our kids or provide for ourselves.
The study states that providing immigrants with legal status would drastically reduce crime because it would provide immigrants with legal options to care for their family.
In addition, the large number of border crossings mask the real crime along our border and decreasing these crossings would make it harder for illegal contraband to enter the country.
The CATO Institute and the United States Chamber of Commerce are conservative organizations, the CBO is nonpartisan and the Brookings Institute is predominately liberal, yet all four agree that immigration reform is in the best interest of all Americans.
It appears that the only people who do not accept this are Republican politicians and those people who believe that Fox News is a legitimate news organization.
Forcing these immigrants to live in the shadows is neither logical, nor practical.
Providing for a path to legal status would create jobs and increase wages, require that immigrants pay all local, state and federal taxes, which would reduce the deficit, and providing immigrants with more opportunities to provide for their families, will reduce crime.
We can continue to listen to those that are trying to force an immoral personal agenda upon us, or we can stand up for what is right and in the best interest of Americans and immigrants alike.
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