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Myths & Facts About the Costs of Immigration in the USA. Prepared for “Welcoming the Sojourner: Finding the Church’s Voice on Immigration” by The Rev. Dr. Mark R. Sills. FaithAction International House A Center for Cross-Cultural Learning and Service. 705 North Greene Street
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Prepared for “Welcoming the Sojourner: Finding the Church’s Voice on Immigration” by The Rev. Dr. Mark R. Sills
FaithAction International House
A Center for Cross-Cultural Learning and Service
705 North Greene Street
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
© 2008, FaithAction International House – Greensboro, NC 27401. Use by permission only.
Ever since Adam and Eve became the first refugees, our ancestors have been moving from one place to another in search of a better life – either by choice, forced by circumstances, or through enslavement.
by economic factors.
Capital moves easily across borders.
Labor also crosses borders, for the same reasons, but with much more difficulty.
Source: State of the World Population 2006
United Nations Population Fund
Foreign Born as aPercentage of the Total Population
USA – 12.8%
Source: United Nations World Population Report 2006 and the United States Bureau of the Census
After a decade of NAFTA, Mexican corn farmers face ruin
Canadian Broadcasting Center Dec 10, 2005
10 years of NAFTA Destroying Mexican Farmers
By Robert Taylor - World Press Review Jan, 2003
Crushed by NAFTA, Mexican farmers head north
By Jack Kurtz/The Arizona Republic
Jun. 18, 2003
Nafta's Failures Fuel Mexican Illegal Immigration
New America Media, News Analysis, Louis Nevaer, Sep 15, 2006
Mexican Farmers See Death Sentence in NAFTA
by Pav Jordan, Reuters,December 28, 2002
Source: The Carnegie Endowment 2006
Immigrants Come to the USA to Use Welfare
Source: Farrell, Christopher, and Michael J. Mandel. “The Immigrants: How They’re Helping to Revitalize the U.S. Economy.” Business Week 13 July 1992: 114-122.
The Social Security Administration in a 2008 report indicated that un-documented workers have added 8 years of viability to the Social Security System by paying taxes for which they will never receive benefits.
Immigrant criminals are filling up our prisons and costing tax payers billions
Lou Dobbs recently stated on CNN that immigrant criminals make up more than 33% of all prisoners in the US!
Source: United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2007
Neighborhoods with a high percentage of immigrant residents are much less likely to have high crime rates.
Source: American Journal of Public Health
Source: Urban Institute, American Immigration Lawyers Association
The criminalization of undocumented workers presents a cornucopia of opportunities for private industry:
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Immigration agency plans new family detention centers
The federal government is accepting bids for up to three new family detention centers that would house as many as 600 men, women and children fighting deportation cases.
October 5, 2008
Farmville, VA detention center to become largest immigration detention facility in the mid-Atlantic region. The $21 million project, led by a group of Richmond investors, is being described as what could be the “mid-Atlantic hub” for ICE operations.
The math is simple. More demand for immigrant detention beds, plus more government funding, equals more business for Corrections Corporation of America. Every year since 2003, the company has made record profits.
KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary recently reprimanded for gross overcharging in its military contracts in Iraq, won a $385 million contract to build the centers. According to the Halliburton website -- www.Halliburton.com -- "the contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."
Although the U.S. prison population 1.5 million inmates remains the most voluminous on Planet Earth, incarceration rates are slowing to a little over 1% a year increase while the detention side is running 21% annual growth. "What's great is that this industry promises steadily growing profits," offered an upbeat Anton High of Jefferies & Company brokers in a recent New York Times article encouraging investors to “buy in.”
10.3 million already have gone on to become naturalized US citizens with all the rights and responsibilities of any citizen!
So...How Many Are Undocumented?
There are approximately 34.5 million foreign born people in the USA.
2.7 million of these are refugees admitted to the USA by the US State Department.
1.6 million are legal temporary residents, usually school teachers or agricultural workers.
10.5 million are Legal Permanent Residents of the USA, with full legal rights to live and work here, and eventually to become citizens if they so choose.
That leaves approximately 9.3 million people who are undocumented.
Source: Undocumented Immigrants: Facts and Figures, January 2004, The Urban Institute
According to the Department of Homeland Security 75% of all immigrants in the USA are here with legal documents. Of the 25% who are undocumented, 40% have expired documents or are in transition to another legal status.
No more than 10% of immigrants in the USA crossed the border illegally.
Source: United States Department of Homeland Security, 2007
From October 1, 1997 through August 31, 2008 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted 1,172 worksite raids across the country.
ICE arrested 4,956 people.
1,022 were either wanted for criminal charges or had a deportation order against them.
116 people were owners, managers, supervisors or human resources employees who were accused of hiring undocumented immigrants.
ICE spent an estimated $66 million conducting these raids.
Source: News Report, Jorge Morales Almada, October 17, 2008
Myth #6: Immigrants Avoid Paying Taxes
Immigrants make up 15% of the total labor force in the US, and for the past decade have provided half the growth in the labor force.
More than 30% of the low-skilled labor jobs in the USA are filled by foreign born workers.
More than 40% of the Ph.D. level scientists working in the USA are immigrants.
Source: The President’s Council of Economic Advisors, “Immigration’s Economic Impact”, June 2007.
Forty-seven percent of current venture-backed companies in the U.S. have immigrant founders.
The number of Hispanic-owned businesses has grown at three times the national average, while the number of Asian-owned businesses has grown at twice the national average.
Source: Migration Policy Institute publication, Immigration and America's Future: A New Chapter, 2007
Only 50 percent of some 18.9 million Latino immigrants in this country now send money regularly to relatives in their home countries.
Source: Fewer Latino immigrants send money home. By: Julia Preston, May 1, 2008
“Give us your rich, your leisure classes, yearning to be richer!”
Source: US Department of Homeland Security, 2008
No one can live in this country and not pay property, sales, and use taxes.
The IRS estimates that in 2005 immigrant workers (including undocumented workers) paid more than $165 billion in federal taxes, and more than $85 billion in state and local taxes.
Between 1997 and 2002, the number of businesses owned by Hispanics grew by 31 percent -- three times the national average for all businesses -- hitting 1.6 million in 2002 and generating some $162 billion in tax revenue.
Source: Cato Institute, Inter-American Development Bank
Source: New American Media, “More Immigrants Means More Jobs,” April 2007
If all of the undocumented immigrants in the USA were to be removed, either through deportation or through their voluntary exodus the impact would be dramatic:
Source: The Perryman Group: AN ESSENTIAL RESOURCE: An Analysis of the Economic Impact of Undocumented Workers on Business Activity in the US with Estimated Effects by State and by Industry, 2008
Source: United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor Statistics
Crackdown on illegal immigration across borders contributes to increasing cost of food.
October 15, 2008
Immigration's Fallout: Fewer Fresh Tomatoes?
March 26, 2008
One farmer in Pennsylvania — who before this year had operated the largest fresh-market tomato producing farm in the state — says the policy gridlock [concerning immigration] is forcing him to stop growing tomatoes.
Source: United States Department of Homeland Security: Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services 2007
The Manhattan Institute just released a study (May, 2008) which found that today’s immigrants assimilate more rapidly than previous waves of immigrants.
We are not against immigrants, just those who come to the United States illegally. They should go home and get in line to come here legally just like our ancestors did.
Source: Journal of Scotch-Irish Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2
Source: US Department of Homeland Security
Latin Americans fleeing economic disaster and starvation have virtually no legal avenue for coming to the USA.
This is true also for many of those who most need to migrate to the USA from places like Haiti, some parts of Asia, and many countries in Africa.
A Center for Cross Cultural Learning & Service
705 North Greene Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
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