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Experts: Illegal Immigrants Help Economy
Yahoo & AP ^ | April 4, 2006 | Jeannine Aversa

Posted on 04/04/2006 8:23:20 PM PDT by lauriehelds

WASHINGTON (AP) -- They pick fruit and vegetables and clip hedges. They hang drywall and clean houses, hotels and office buildings. The millions of illegal workers in the United States have come under a fresh spotlight as Congress and President Bush grapple with revamping the nation's immigration policies.

Illegal workers' relationship to the economy is intricate. They are willing to work for lower wages than legal workers, helping to keep down prices. But illegal immigrants also can depress wages for unskilled, legal workers and strain local hospitals and schools.

"There is not a simple economic case here. It is complex. It is interwoven, and it is very hard to extract," said Terry Connelly, dean of the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. "It is like pulling some sort of piece of thread out of a fabric. If you pull that thread out, you don't know to what degree you have weakened the fabric."

There are an estimated 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. Some 7.2 million of them are employed -- about 5 percent of the U.S. labor force -- according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a research organization. The illegal workers are mostly men and are heavily concentrated in construction, agriculture and cleaning jobs, Pew says. Those jobs tend to be low skill or unskilled manual labor, economists said.

"From lawn services to meat packing, you name it. The primary benefit to consumers from illegal workers is lower prices," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight.

For businesses, cheap labor can translate into fatter profits. If owners use those profits to expand their businesses, it would boost economic activity.

While consumers and businesses may benefit from such cheap labor, the U.S. born-worker could be hurt by it, according to some research.

Between 1980 and 2000, legal and illegal immigration reduced the average annual earnings of U.S.-born men by an estimated $1,700 or roughly 4 percent, according to research done in 2004 by George Borjas, economics professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

The situation was worse if one considers only the 10 million U.S.-born men who lack a high school degree. For them, the increased supply of workers depressed wages by 7.4 percent, he found.

Economists at the Federal Reserve banks in Dallas and Atlanta found no evidence in 2003 that wages of higher-skilled U.S.-born workers were hurt by immigration, although lower-wage workers were affected.

Illegal immigrants use federal, state and local resources, including schools, medical care and emergency services, straining government coffers and costing taxpayers money. However, many of the costs are tied to their kids -- many of them American-born children who are U.S. citizens.

At the federal level, the big cost is through Medicaid and food-assistance programs, according to Steven Camarota, research director at the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors stricter immigration rules.

Camarota acknowledges that some illegal immigrants pay federal taxes, but he said their cost to the federal government -- $12 billion, according to his estimate -- is greater.

There's another way to look at it. Since they pay payroll taxes, they're helping to bankroll Social Security and Medicare but won't get to participate in the programs because of their immigration status.

"From our standpoint, this is not a top fiscal issue," said Pete Sepp, spokesman for the National Taxpayers Union.

Experts note that illegal immigrants also spend part of their paychecks in this country -- for food, clothes, furniture, living expenses and other things -- all of which contribute to economic growth. But many also send some of their earnings to their families in their native countries.

Still, they expand the nation's overall labor pool and productivity. "We can make more stuff and that can add to overall economic activity," said Andrew Bernard, professor of international economics at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business.

In Congress, diverse proposals have been offered to deal with the immigration issue.

House-passed legislation takes a tough approach, including provisions making illegal immigrants' presence in this country a felony. A Senate proposal sets out a path that would make illegal immigrants who came to the United States before 2004 eligible for permanent residency.

If all the illegal workers in this country were booted out tomorrow, economists believe wages would have to rise significantly to get U.S.-born workers to take their jobs.

"It would take time for that to occur and during this period of adjustment -- some things might not get done -- maybe some crops won't be picked or some hotel rooms won't get cleaned," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. In some cases, companies might opt to invest in machines and other automation rather than hire higher-paid workers, economists said.

Under these scenarios, consumers' prices could rise.

Two-thirds of Americans polled think illegal immigrants fill jobs that most Americans do not want, according to a recent AP-Ipsos poll.

But the survey found greater ambiguity on whether illegal immigrants are good or bad for American society. Fifty-one percent said illegal immigrants mostly make a contribution to society, and 42 percent said they were mostly a drain.

Pew Hispanic Center: http://pewhispanic.org/

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta: http://www.frbatlanta.org/

Golden Gate University: http://www.ggu.edu/

Center for Immigration Studies: http://www.cis.org/


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Mexico; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: propaganda

1 posted on 04/04/2006 8:23:22 PM PDT by lauriehelds
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To: lauriehelds

So did slavery but that didn't make it right.


2 posted on 04/04/2006 8:24:06 PM PDT by Reaganesque
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To: lauriehelds

"Jobs Americans Won't Take" = Jobs Americans used to be able to raise their families with before the slave labor trade took over.


3 posted on 04/04/2006 8:30:19 PM PDT by janetgreen (The White House fiddles while America is invaded)
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To: lauriehelds
"They hang drywall and clean houses, hotels and office buildings."

Did someone say hotels?


4 posted on 04/04/2006 8:30:45 PM PDT by jdm
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To: lauriehelds

Excuse me, but does anyone from the "African American" community ever, ever bring up the issue that these illegal immigrants are taking jobs from all the black people that say that they WANT a job? Isn't the unemployment rate among blacks higher than among whites?

Don't the blacks want good jobs? Or do they already have good jobs working for the government or post office?

Is there something I don't know?


5 posted on 04/04/2006 8:31:13 PM PDT by garyhope (Simplicity is best in everything)
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To: lauriehelds

So we make some product cheaper for certain people, and then those inequities are done in with subsidizing those people with taxes, destroying wages in the industry, and replacing a successful culture with a failed culture.

Much less you'll guarantee an open border if these individuals ever get voting rights. Might as well call us Mexico when that happens.


6 posted on 04/04/2006 8:31:43 PM PDT by Rick_Michael
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To: lauriehelds
...fresh spotlight as Congress and President Bush grapple with revamping the nation's immigration policies.

Amazing that they're "grappling" with this. It should be a no-brainer.

7 posted on 04/04/2006 8:32:09 PM PDT by Spirochete
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To: lauriehelds

But the survey found greater ambiguity on whether illegal immigrants are good or bad for American society.

So why the headline?????


8 posted on 04/04/2006 8:34:20 PM PDT by calljack (Sometimes your worst nightmare is just a start.)
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To: lauriehelds
If they're good for the economy, why don't they help the Mexican economy. It needs more help than the American economy.
9 posted on 04/04/2006 8:34:52 PM PDT by CAWats (And I will make no distinction between terrorists and the democrats.)
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To: lauriehelds

Govermental Cost of Illegal Immigrants

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1609318/posts


10 posted on 04/04/2006 8:38:22 PM PDT by AmeriBrit (A must see: http://www.iraqitruthproject.com/flash2.html)
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To: lauriehelds

Day 1: Undocumented workers are taking jobs that Americans won't do, (for technically, kinda-sorta lower wages).

Day 2: Evil Zionist corporations are outsourcing our precious jobs to scumbag unfairly lower-waged foreign countries!!!


11 posted on 04/04/2006 8:41:41 PM PDT by zeppenwolf
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To: calljack

"So why the headline?????"<p.Let me know if you get an answer, I was very interested in reading how cheap illegal labor helps the average joe.


12 posted on 04/04/2006 8:44:23 PM PDT by jpsb
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To: lauriehelds

When you factor in the added health, language, education, and other social service costs, that wipes out the entirety of the savings one gets at the supermarket.


13 posted on 04/04/2006 8:50:11 PM PDT by thoughtomator (Since all politicians understand is money, I donate ONLY to those who oppose illegal immigration)
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To: lauriehelds

Gee thanks Laurie, for all this "EXPERT" testimony from the likes of the "Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University in San Francisco" for starters, the Pew Research Something Or Other ,assorted hot shots and the good old dumber than dog snot average American who knows not how to find his bottom with both hands.

The "Take Away Message" is: What ? in ten words or less?

All these criminals you have renamed as "hardworking nice people" are gifts of manna from heaven? And all those wonderful public servants still have'nt figured out how to keep up the verbal tap dancing while continuing to not enforce the laws that already exist to prevent illegal immigration? Are what exactly?

Gee! Thanks for the bulletin.

When are you and they going to surprise us white folk with jobs that we really want to do?


14 posted on 04/04/2006 8:50:45 PM PDT by CBart95
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To: jdm

I am graph challenged. Could you explain what that shows?
susie


15 posted on 04/04/2006 8:55:22 PM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: lauriehelds


...Please note that most of these "experts" are registered communists who voted for Kerry...


16 posted on 04/04/2006 9:01:37 PM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: lauriehelds

17 posted on 04/04/2006 9:04:01 PM PDT by seastay
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To: Reaganesque

Uh, since when does breaking tax law and depressing the wage scale in America 'help the economy'?... Truth is it fattens the businesses breaking the tax laws, but it does reduce costs for goods and services though the increase in costs for social programs for twelve million (more is more likely) more than offsets such reductions.


18 posted on 04/04/2006 9:06:14 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: lauriehelds
Two-thirds of Americans polled think illegal immigrants fill jobs that most Americans do not want, according to a recent AP-Ipsos poll.

The one biased poll that said this, which runs counter to every other poll taken to date, and the liberals/RINOs have glommed on to it like it is the truth from Mt. Sinai.

Tancredo for President!
19 posted on 04/04/2006 9:09:01 PM PDT by Old_Mil (http://www.constitutionparty.org - Forging a Rebirth of Freedom.)
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To: CAWats

Because they are the number one export keeping the feudal state of Mexico from revolution to behead the twenty odd families running that state.


20 posted on 04/04/2006 9:10:13 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: MHGinTN

If low wages help the economy, then Africa and Mexico would be world beaters.


21 posted on 04/04/2006 9:17:12 PM PDT by Donald Meaker (You don't drive a car looking through the rear view mirror, but you do practice politics that way.)
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To: Donald Meaker

!


22 posted on 04/04/2006 9:24:38 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: thoughtomator
I totally agree. What is going to happen when all these illegal get old????? They have never paid into Social Security. These Fruit pickers develop back pain and degenerative spine disease. They don't have health care insurance. Who is going to pay for their 50,000 dollar spine surgery???

Import the fruit deport the illegal.
23 posted on 04/04/2006 9:25:14 PM PDT by pterional
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To: lauriehelds
The underground economy. Cheap wages and no benefits.

Hire an American, send the illegals packing.

24 posted on 04/04/2006 9:27:25 PM PDT by Reagan Man (Secure our borders;punish employers who hire illegals;stop all welfare to illegals)
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To: lauriehelds
"Experts: Illegal Immigrants Help Economy"

LOL! If this were really true, EVERY country would be clamouring to have them back, wouldn't they?

How stupid do these people think we are?

Support HR 4437, and oppose any type of 'guest worker' amnesty.

25 posted on 04/04/2006 9:31:33 PM PDT by CowboyJay (Rough Riders! Tancredo '08)
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To: lauriehelds
If uneducated illiterate laborers are so good for an economy why isn't Mexico rich. Oh wait the money sent back the Mexican uneducated illiterate laborers here is saving the Mexican economy
26 posted on 04/04/2006 9:34:17 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (In the Land of the Blind the one-eyed man is king.)
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To: lauriehelds

Follow the money and you will find the reason for this "news"....


27 posted on 04/04/2006 9:58:59 PM PDT by TheBattman (Islam (and liberalism)- the cult of Satan and a Cancer on Society)
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To: lauriehelds

Illegal immigration is allowed for the same reason that chinese imports are allowed. They hide inflation by supressing prices.

Notice that the price of anything not imported from China or produced by an illegal alien is skyrocketing?

Works in the short term but not for much longer.


28 posted on 04/04/2006 10:00:53 PM PDT by richalessi
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To: lauriehelds

Illegal Immigrants help MEXICAN economy


29 posted on 04/04/2006 10:03:29 PM PDT by 11th_VA (Minutemen - Protecting the border the President won't protect ...)
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To: lauriehelds
Give them any sort of legal status, and the welfare money flows. Those hard working illegals will have all the work effort of a Katrina victim.


30 posted on 04/04/2006 10:07:59 PM PDT by Plutarch
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To: CowboyJay

I could rob art galleries and sell the paintings and if I spent the money that really would be helping the economy.


31 posted on 04/04/2006 10:20:55 PM PDT by bigj00
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To: janetgreen
Jobs Americans Won't Take" = Jobs Americans used to be able to raise their families with before the slave labor trade took over

Back in the sixties a good drywall man in California could make $300 per day. Illegals have lowered that to $80.
.
32 posted on 04/04/2006 11:23:42 PM PDT by mugs99 (Don't take life too seriously, you won't get out alive.)
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To: thoughtomator
When you factor in the added health, language, education, and other social service costs, that wipes out the entirety of the savings one gets at the supermarket.

Shame on you! You're only supposed to notice the low prices at the supermarket.

33 posted on 04/05/2006 5:53:03 AM PDT by lucysmom
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To: lauriehelds

"For businesses, cheap labor can translate into fatter profits. If owners use those profits to expand their businesses, it would boost economic activity."

We worship at the altar of the dollar. This type of thinking is what justified slavery and is utterly disgusting.

The reason they can work for less is as follows:

1. They don't pay FICA taxes;
2. They typically live 10 20 to a house;
3. The employer does not have to pay worker's comp etc.
4. The employers don't have to obey labor laws.

Its really about businesses being able to profit off of "willing workers" who will live like third world people and are not under the same laws as typical Americans.


34 posted on 04/05/2006 5:57:23 AM PDT by chris1
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To: mugs99
Back in the sixties a good drywall man in California could make $300 per day. Illegals have lowered that to $80.

If I recall correctly, after the illegals moved in on the drywall business, they wanted their own union.

35 posted on 04/05/2006 9:21:14 AM PDT by janetgreen (The White House fiddles while America is invaded)
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To: janetgreen
If I recall correctly, after the illegals moved in on the drywall business, they wanted their own union.

Just filling the hole the Ameican Unions won't.
American unions now represent public employees. The American worker has been replaced by the "opressed".
.
36 posted on 04/05/2006 10:08:57 AM PDT by mugs99 (Don't take life too seriously, you won't get out alive.)
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