More Observations on Immigration and the California Economy

More Observations on Immigration and the California Economy | ImmigrationReform.comThe California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) released a report estimating that one in ten workers in California is an illegal alien. The CIPC seemingly believes that this is a positive for Californians because illegal aliens “contribute about $130 billion of California’s GDP.” It is true that illegal aliens contribute to California’s GDP, or more correctly GSP, but that is an axiomatic statement. What the CIPC failed to point out, but FAIR did, is that while illegal aliens are 10 percent of California’s workforce they only contribute 6.5 percent of the state’s GSP. Even if legal immigrants are included, the foreign-born contribute only 31 percent of the state’s GSP while comprising 35 percent of the state’s workforce. This is partly because a high percentage of foreign workers in California are illegal aliens, but it is also the result of there being so many foreign workers, including legal immigrants and guest workers, in California. While immigration contributes to the state’s GSP, using immigration to undermine American workers creates widespread income inequality, systematic unemployment (unemployment in California is 21% higher than the national average), and massive costs to taxpayers.

The CIPC also made much about occupations in California that have a high percentage of immigration workers, specifically highlighting those where illegal aliens are concentrated, stating that “they figure prominently in the agriculture, manufacturing, and repair and personal service industries. Not surprisingly the CPIC left out part of the story. In California, 83 percent of the occupations listed by the CIPC as heavily-immigrant have seen wages stagnate (rising less than $1) or decline between 1999 and 2013.

A more sober analysis of California’s economy was provided by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles in 2010, which found that over the preceding decade the middle class has been “eroded” as good paying jobs in the county have vanished. The United Way also found that over the past twenty years, the average worker saw a real wage drop of almost $2 per hour, 15 percent of the population in Los Angeles County lived in poverty, including one in five children, wages had been outpaced by rental costs, and high school graduation rates were at 60 percent, 10 percent lower than the U.S. average. This is hardly the rosy picture painted by the CIPC.


Summer Border Surge of Illegal Aliens Will Cost Local School Districts Millions

September is coming and so is the start of a new school year. This year, there will be almost 37,000 “unaccompanied” alien minors who will be enrolling in public school in the United States. These kids will require special Limited English Proficient (LEP) classes conducted in Spanish, or in other languages indigenous to Central American, as well as other taxpayer funded services, such as free and reduced school meals. FAIR has documented these costs in previous reports (Utah, Nevada, Maryland). The per pupil cost for unaccompanied minors is likely to be even higher than the average LEP student, since the recent illegal aliens of school age who came in the recent surge have had little to no previous schooling. Once again the costs of federal government’s failed immigration policies are borne at the local level, and the nation’s public school system is where the costs are most visible.

How much is illegal immigration costing your school district?

Here is FAIR’s estimate of the cost of educating unaccompanied alien minors by state.

‘ILLEGAL ALIEN:’ Tell it like it is


Read FAIR’s new issue brief here or scroll down.

Under federal law, any non-U.S. citizen is an alien. Aliens who have entered the United States without permission, or who have violated the terms of their admission, are identified under the law as illegal aliens. That is a fact, not an issue for debate.

It is also a fact that, according to U.S. law, it is a crime to enter the United States without permission. This first time offense is a misdemeanor, the second time, a felony.

Despite the clarity in the U.S. code on proper terminology, what is known in legal parlance as the “term of art,” a political movement has arisen whose object is to substitute euphemism for precision. A variety of motivations underlie this effort, but regardless of intent, the goal is the same. Those who object to the use of the term “illegal alien” appear to believe that if they can convince the American public that illegal immigration is not really illegal, then amnesty no longer is amnesty, and enforcing immigration law is unnecessary.

The Case Against

There are a few principal arguments made against the use of illegal alien.  They are simplistic, and easily refutable.  The first is that no human being is illegal. To identify someone as an illegal alien does not banish that person from the human race; it simply identifies an individual who does not have the legal right to reside in the United States.

Another oft-employed argument is to claim that illegal aliens just lack the proper “papers,” and so they are not really illegal but instead “undocumented.” The implication is that those with documents were lucky enough to have somehow come into possession of a visa or a “green card,” and not that an alien who received these documents submitted to a complex process that complies with the requirements of entry into the United States. The “undocumented” term is also patently misleading because illegal aliens as a group are certainly not lacking identification documents, only legitimate, legally obtained ones. Often an illegal alien will purchase or manufacture false or stolen documents and, according to Ronald Mortensen of the Center for Immigration Studies, as many as 75% of illegal aliens in the workforce are using fraudulent Social Security cards.

Why All the Fuss?

The wrangling over the term illegal alien goes beyond whether particular words are proper to use.  Underlying the “newspeak” by defenders of illegal aliens is the question of whether the United States will remain a sovereign, independent nation, governed by the rule of law and subject to constitutional constraints. U.S. immigration laws were enacted by Congress.

The Executive Branch has the responsibility to enforce them, not to implement them as the President sees fit.  Those who deny that immigration laws are binding are declaring that there should be inequality under the law, where some groups are not only immune from compliance but should benefit from their offense.

Under attack is the very foundation of this republic as a nation established on the principle of respect for the law, as is the right to self-determination of the American people.  A fundamental principle of sovereignty is that the people of any country have the absolute right to defend their borders and to admit or deny admittance to others according to their discretion and laws. It is not extremist, racist, or anti-immigrant for Americans to expect their national borders to be secure and that those who violate immigration laws are held accountable.

Why Illegal Aliens from Nicaragua Aren’t Flocking to the U.S.

Screen shot 2014-08-04 at 4.35.34 PMThe effort to disregard the plain facts surrounding the recent surge in illegal immigration has taken a new twist. Instead of acknowledging the real reasons about why they are coming, open-border advocates are claiming that these aliens are refugees fleeing imminent danger and are not, as the aliens freely admit, coming because they know President Obama has no intention of sending them back home. The latest attempt to bolster the argument that economics has nothing to do with the increasing numbers of illegal aliens from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador is that because Nicaragua, too, is a poor country, but with relatively lower levels of violence, the absence of a proportionate surge in Nicaraguans illegal border crossers proves that the others are refugees.

The response to that claim is straightforward. Since Nicaragua has been a more stable and less violent country than Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador over the past two decades, there is less of an incentive for Nicaraguans to come to the United States illegally – and fewer have come over the last two decades.  According to DHS statistics, the country that sends the most illegal aliens to the United States is Mexico. No surprise there. Also no surprise is that the number two, three, and four sending countries are El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Nicaragua is not even in the top ten, which would put the number of illegal aliens in the United States who are from Nicaragua at a fraction of its Central American neighbors. (The reason there has not been a surge in Mexicans is because the Border Patrol immediately sends apprehended Mexican nationals back to Mexico.)

Because there have been fewer Nicaraguans coming illegally to the United States in recent years, and because most illegal aliens are now coming to be reunited with family members already living illegally in the United States, there are proportionately fewer Nicaraguans as part of the current surge. But if the President and Congress don’t send the recent illegal aliens home you can bet we’ll start to see more Nicaraguans making the trek north in the near future.

July Job Numbers

jobsThe working-age population increased from June to July ’14 by 209,000. The unemployment rate went up in July to 6.2% from 6.1%. The number of unemployed increased by 197,000 while the number of employed increased by 131,000. The participation rate ticked up, also by 0.1%, to 62.9%, but it is still lower by 0.5% than it was last July. The number of people not in the workforce decreased by 119,000. These numbers indicate that more people were looking for work. These numbers also indicate that given population growth, the number of new workers adding to the labor market was 78,000. The total number of unemployed is 9.7 million, and those not in the labor force remained virtually unchanged at 92 million.