Study finds high costs, questionable return for Virginia county’s immigration policy

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 11:58 am

A new study on the impact of anti-illegal immigration policies in Prince William County, Va., found that the Latino population decreased substantially after the policy was implemented in 2007, with a 7,700-person drop in the non-citizen Latino population between 2006 and 2008. (That number accounts for legal and illegal immigrants, but study authors estimated that between 2,000 and 6,000 illegal immigrants left the county.)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, both sides seem to think the study confirms their beliefs: Advocates of the policy said the study showed it was successful in driving out immigrants, while critics pointed to findings that crime and spending were mostly unchanged by the policy.

The study, which was a three-year project by the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research, looked at a variety of factors to determine the impact of a policy meant to drive out illegal immigrants. Since it was modified in 2008, the policy has required police officers to check the immigration status when they make arrests. Originally, the policy required checks only if the officer suspected the person was an illegal immigrant — much like Arizona’s SB 1070 — prompting fear of racial profiling and backlash against Latinos.

Although the Latino population dropped following the policy’s implementation, experts cautioned there could be a number of other reasons for the change, such as a sluggish economy and few jobs in sectors like construction:

“I think the policy had an effect on the ground in the direction it was intended, but it also came at a time of a very sharp economic downtown, which also contributed to changes in population … and migration behaviors,” said Brookings Institution demographer Audrey Singer, who focuses on race and U.S. immigration policy. “I think the researchers are being very careful with what they say because they can’t get a very hard estimate.”

The policy was intended to reduce crime and lower spending on social services to illegal immigrants. But the University of Virginia study found that overall crime has been on the decline in Prince William County for the past 10 years — including the years when many undocumented immigrants moved to the country.

Undocumented immigrants only made up a small number — about 6 percent — of those arrested for serious crimes in the county in 2009. The study’s authors said there was no noticeable impact on crime from the immigration enforcement policy and that social service spending remained about the same. Implementing and maintaining the policy cost the county about $3 million.

Although the study found few reports of racial profiling, some Latino residents said fears of profiling still may have led some Latinos to leave the area and harmed the county’s reputation.

What does the study mean for other counties and states that might want to replicate the Prince William County policy? It depends on who is asked. Prince William Board Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R) said he hopes the study’s findings will help with his push to expand it statewide. But the study’s authors said the lessons from Prince William County should be applied with “great caution” elsewhere.

“This is not a free policy; the board allocated substantial amounts of money” for this, Thomas Guterbock, director of Center for Survey Research, told the Washington Post. “Don’t try this if you don’t want to spend some money.”

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Anonymous
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

Only in the current insanity of liberal mania do we argue over how many illegal welfare recipients and criminals we can afford. Cut off the gravy train, jail the employers for hiring illegal, and they will self deport.


Anonymous
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

Really???? I read the entire thing and it clearly shows a lot of good came out of this resolution. It also shows that a number of violent crimes went down, directly attributable to this policy, as well as hit and runs.

What dog do YOU have in this fight with your biased reporting?


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Facts
Comment posted November 19, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

I AM NOT SAYING DONT CLOSE THE BORDERS. I AM SAYING STOP THE HATE.

Before you Scream and show Ignorance and Hate at least read the Immigration Law regarding Undocumented Immigrants.

THE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS ARE PAYING MORE TAXES THAN YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IMMIGRANTS AND TAXES:
Q: “Is it true that illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes and drain our economy?”
A: As Ben Franklin said, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Like the rest of us, unauthorized immigrants pay taxes on their property and anything they buy. More than half of them have taxes taken out of their paychecks, but because our immigration system is dysfunctional, these taxes are paid under false Social Security numbers. We need a new regimen in which we know who is paying taxes and can ensure that no one is getting a free ride. The only way to do that is to pull unauthorized immigrants out of the shadows and get them on the right side of the law.
Three state-level studies have found that unauthorized immigrants pay more in taxes than they use in benefits. In Iowa, unauthorized immigrants pay an estimated $40 to $62 million in state taxes, while they and their employers contribute an additional $50 million to $77.8 million in federal, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from which they will never benefit. In Oregon, unauthorized immigrants—who are not eligible for any state benefits—pay between $134 million and $187 million in taxes each year. Finally, in Texas, the State Comptroller found that, without unauthorized residents, the gross state product in 2005 would have been $17.7 billion less.
————————

The economics of immigration, Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration and someone who enjoys bipartisan support for his straightforwardness, said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between $120 billion and $240 billion from unauthorized immigrants.

That represented an astounding 5.4 percent to 10.7 percent of the trust fund’s total assets of $2.24 trillion that year. The cumulative contribution is surely higher now. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of $12 billion in 2007 alone, Goss said.

Previous estimates circulating publicly and in Congress had placed the annual contributions at roughly half of Goss’s 2007 figure and listed the cumulative benefit on the order of $50 billion.

The Social Security trust fund faces a solvency crisis that would be even more pressing were it not for these payments.

Adding to the Social Security irony is that the restrictionists are mostly OLDER AND RETIRED WHITES from longtime American families. The very people, in other words, who benefit most from the Social Security payments by unauthorized immigrants.

————————————-

The Undocumented Immigrants pay the exact same amount of taxes like you and me when they buy Things, rent a house, fill up gas, drink a beer or wine, buy appliances, play the states lottery and mega millions . Below are the links to just a few sites that will show you exactly how much tax you or the Undocumented Immigrant pays , so you see they are NOT FREELOADERS, THEY PAY TAXES AND TOLLS Exactly the same as you, Now if you take out 10% from your states /city Budget what will your city/state look like financially ?

Stop your folly thinking , you are wise USE YOUR WISDOM to see the reality. They pay more taxes than you think, Including FEDERAL INCOME TAX using a ITN Number that is given to them by the IRS, Social Security Taxes and State taxes that are withheld form their paychecks automatically.

Taxes, paid by You & the Undocumented are the same in each state check your state : http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/sales.html

GAS Taxes paid by you & the Undocumented are the same. Go to and check out your states tax; http://www.gaspricewatch.com/usgastaxes.asp

Cigarette Taxes paid by you & the Undocumented are the same, check this out in : http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/cigarett.html

Clothing Sales Taxes, are the same paid by you & the Undocumented Immigrant; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sales_taxes_in_the_United_States

City Taxes, are the same paid by you or the Undocumented, since he pays rent and the LANDLORD pays the city : http://www.town-usa.com/statetax/statetaxlist.html

Beer Taxes, are the same paid by you or the Undocumented: http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/beer.html

TAX DATA : http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/245.html

Eight million Undocumented immigrants pay Social Security, Medicare and income taxes. Denying public services to people who pay their taxes is an affront to America’s bedrock belief in fairness. But many “pull-up-the-drawbridge” politicians want to do just that when it comes to Undocumented immigrants.

The fact that Undocumented immigrants pay taxes at all will come as news to many Americans. A stunning two thirds of Undocumented immigrants pay Medicare, Social Security and personal income taxes.

Yet, nativists like Congressman Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., have popularized the notion that illegal aliens are a colossal drain on the nation’s hospitals, schools and welfare programs — consuming services that they don’t pay for.

In reality, the 1996 welfare reform bill disqualified Undocumented immigrants from nearly all means tested government programs including food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and Medicare-funded hospitalization.

The only services that illegals can still get are emergency medical care and K-12 education. Nevertheless, Tancredo and his ilk pushed a bill through the House criminalizing all aid to illegal aliens — even private acts of charity by priests, nurses and social workers.

Potentially, any soup kitchen that offers so much as a free lunch to an illegal could face up to five years in prison and seizure of assets. The Senate bill that recently collapsed would have tempered these draconian measures against private aid.

But no one — Democrat or Republican — seems to oppose the idea of withholding public services. Earlier this year, Congress passed a law that requires everyone who gets Medicaid — the government-funded health care program for the poor — to offer proof of U.S. citizenship so we can avoid “theft of these benefits by illegal aliens,” as Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., puts it. But, immigrants aren’t flocking to the United States to mooch off the government.

According to a study by the Urban Institute, the 1996 welfare reform effort dramatically reduced the use of welfare by undocumented immigrant households, exactly as intended. And another vital thing happened in 1996: the Internal Revenue Service began issuing identification numbers to enable illegal immigrants who don’t have Social Security numbers to file taxes.

One might have imagined that those fearing deportation or confronting the prospect of paying for their safety net through their own meager wages would take a pass on the IRS’ scheme. Not so. Close to 8 million of the 12 million or so illegal aliens in the country today file personal income taxes using these numbers, contributing billions to federal coffers.

No doubt they hope that this will one day help them acquire legal status — a plaintive expression of their desire to play by the rules and come out of the shadows. What’s more, aliens who are not self-employed have Social Security and Medicare taxes automatically withheld from their paychecks.

Since undocumented workers have only fake numbers, they’ll never be able to collect the benefits these taxes are meant to pay for. Last year, the revenues from these fake numbers — that the Social Security administration stashes in the “earnings suspense file” — added up to 10 percent of the Social Security surplus.

The file is growing, on average, by more than $50 billion a year. Beyond federal taxes, all illegals automatically pay state sales taxes that contribute toward the upkeep of public facilities such as roads that they use, and property taxes through their rent that contribute toward the schooling of their children.

The non-partisan National Research Council found that when the taxes paid by the children of low-skilled immigrant families — most of whom are illegal — are factored in, they contribute on average $80,000 more to federal coffers than they consume. Yes, many illegal migrants impose a strain on border communities on whose doorstep they first arrive, broke and unemployed.

To solve this problem equitably, these communities ought to receive the surplus taxes that federal government collects from immigrants. But the real reason border communities are strained is the lack of a guest worker program.

Such a program would match willing workers with willing employers in advance so that they wouldn’t be stuck for long periods where they disembark while searching for jobs. The cost of undocumented aliens is an issue that immigrant bashers have created to whip up indignation against people they don’t want here in the first place.

With the Senate having just returned from yet another vacation and promising to revisit the stalled immigration bill, politicians ought to set the record straight: Illegals are not milking the government. If anything, it is the other way around.


Facts
Comment posted November 19, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

THE FACTS ARE THAT JAN BREWER AND THE REPUBLICANS ARE DOING THIS TO GET REELECTED, HERE ARE FACTS.

AS THE GOVERNOR SHE CAN ORDER 5000 NATIONAL GUARDS TO THE BORDER. WHY IS SHE NOT DOING THIS??????????????

1, HOW MUCH MONEY $$$$$$$ IS ALLOCATED TO ENFORCE THIS LAW?? NONE.

2, HOW MANY NEW POLICEMEN / WOMEN SHES HIRED TO HOLD AND PROCESS THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS? NONE.

3, HOW MANY NEW IMMIGRATION JUDGES SHES HIRED TO PROCESS THE THOUSANDS OF DEPORTATION CASES?? NONE.

4, HOW MANY NEW JAILS SHES BUILT TO HOLD THE THOUSANDS OF UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS? NONE.

5, HOW MANY BUSES / PLANES SHES BROUGHT TO DEPORT THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF THOSE WHO ARE ORDERED BY THE IMMIGRATION JUDGES TO BE DEPORTED?? NONE.

CAN ANYONE ANSWER THESE FACTS? THE REPUBLICAN STATES ARE TRYING TO MAKE THIS THEIR PLATFORM, THEY WILL LOSE BIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG TIME.
ALL ARE GODS CHILDREN. NO HUMAN IS ABOVE ANOTHER. ALL ARE CREATED BY ONE ALMIGHTY GOD WHO LOVES ALL HIS CHILDREN.
I AM NOT SAYING DON’T CLOSE THE BORDERS I AM SAYING STOP THE FOOLISH HATE AND IGNORANCE.

Prison Industry Ties to Anti-Immigration Bills
Tweet Reddit Facebook StumbleUpon Yahoo! Buzz By Elise Foley 9/17/10 11:06 AM

The private detention industry stands to gain substantially from a growing immigrant detention system, so it’s no accident that a lobbying group partially funded by Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA, which operates some of the country’s largest private detention facilities, has had a hand in crafting both Arizona’s harsh SB 1070 immigration law and, now, the copycat bills springing up across the country.

Ties between Arizona lawmakers and CCA are not news, but Think Progress has a good run down of the key points: SB 1070 was drafted with help from the American Legislative Exchange Council, which helps the private sector write legislation for states. CCA, which is slated to receive $74 million for immigration detention centers in the 2010 fiscal year, helps fund the group.

CCA also has close, direct ties with Arizona lawmakers. Gov. Jan Brewer’s deputy chief of staff formerly worked as a lobbyist for CCA — his wife still works as a lobbyist there — and Brewer’s campaign chairman runs a lobbying firm that represents the prison corporation.

Similar ties can be found between CCA and lawmakers in other states who have pushed for anti-immigration laws, such as Tennessee and Colorado. (Read the full rundown for the states here.) And CCA routinely gives money to state lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, that have direct connections to the detention business, as The Texas Independent reported last month.

Why is it important? Think Progress explains how anti-immigration bills could help the prison industry make a profit:

http://wildcat.arizona.edu/perspectives/anti-immigration-hysteria-tied-to-the-private-prison-industry-1.1572422
Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed S.B. 1070 into law, and the legislation’s principal architect, Russell Pearce, both have extensive financial ties to the private prison industry powerhouse Corrections Corporation of America, a company which stands to profit in the sum of millions if Arizona’s “papers please” legislation is enacted.

CCA, one of the leading providers of detention and correction services in the country, holds the contract to imprison all federal detainees in the state of Arizona. S.B. 1070 would lead to more arrests on federal immigration charges, causing money to pour into the gargantuan coffers of the private prison industry and directly into the bank accounts of those who are financially tied to it.

Republican state senator Pearce submitted a draft version of S.B. 1070 to the American Legislative Exchange Council for revision months before the bill was introduced to the floor of the Arizona Senate. Pearce is one of 35 Arizona legislators who belong to this organization.

Two years prior, ALEC was the recipient of millions of dollars in contributions from CCA and Geo Group, two of the largest private prison companies in the state.

Pearce’s financial records also indicate that the political action committees funded by both CCA and Geo Group have donated the maximum amount allowable to his campaign.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s deputy chief of staff, Paul Senseman, is a former CCA lobbyist. His wife Kathryn Senseman currently lobbies the state legislature on behalf of the company.

Still more damning is the fact that the governor’s leading policy advisor, J. Charles “Chuck” Coughlin, is the president of Highground Consulting, the lobbying firm which represents CCA’s interests in Arizona.

CCA also contributed a total of $10,000 dollars to the Prop 100 campaign earlier this year, an initiative, along with S.B. 1070, which set the stage for Brewer’s reelection bid.

Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO was among the first to report on this glaring conflict of interest. In retaliation, the Brewer campaign pulled ll advertisements from the network.
—————————————————————————————————

The economics of immigration, Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration and someone who enjoys bipartisan support for his straightforwardness, said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between $120 billion and $240 billion from unauthorized immigrants.

That represented an astounding 5.4 percent to 10.7 percent of the trust fund’s total assets of $2.24 trillion that year. The cumulative contribution is surely higher now. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of $12 billion in 2007 alone, Goss said.

Previous estimates circulating publicly and in Congress had placed the annual contributions at roughly half of Goss’s 2007 figure and listed the cumulative benefit on the order of $50 billion.

The Social Security trust fund faces a solvency crisis that would be even more pressing were it not for these payments.

Adding to the Social Security irony is that the restrictionists are mostly OLDER AND RETIRED WHITES from longtime American families. The very people, in other words, who benefit most from the Social Security payments by unauthorized immigrants.

——————————————————-

Moments after signing Arizona’s tough new immigration law in April, Gov. Jan Brewer was asked WHAT A ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT LOOKS LIKE????

The question, posed during a news conference that was broadcast live on TV, seemed to catch Brewer off guard. After a long pause, she said, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT A ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT LOOKS LIKE. I can tell you that there are people in Arizona that ASS-U-ME they know what an illegal immigrant looks like. I DON’T KNOW IF THEY KNOW THAT FOR A FACT OR NOT.”

Her answer cut to the very heart of the controversy surrounding the law, which takes effect July 29. Although there are many people who assume they know what an illegal immigrant looks like, the fact is, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to tell a person’s immigration status by appearance, experts say.

So despite assurances to the contrary, some civil-rights groups and others fear that enforcement of the law will lead to racial profiling. Several lawsuits already raise worries of civil-rights violations, and a group of Arizona law professors concluded the law authorizes enforcement based on ethnicity. That, they allege, would mean officers would end up harassing and possibly detaining people who aren’t illegal immigrants.

The vast majority of illegal immigrants are Hispanic. But most Hispanics in Arizona are not illegal immigrants – they are legal residents or U.S. citizens, many with roots dating back generations.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2010/07/18/20100718illegal-immigration-profiling.html#ixzz0u2wY1a1d

What both these Republicans FORGOT to Mention in their SPIN POLITICS is that

It’s all about economics! Removing undocumented workers from the U.S. would total a loss of $1.8 trillion in annual spending and $651.5 billion in annual economic output, according to a study by the economic analysis firm The Perryman Group. It would cost about $28 billion per year to apprehend illegal immigrants, $6 billion a year to detain them, $500 million for extra beds, $2 million to judicially process them and $1.6 billion to transport them home. $230 Billion is the estimated amount it would cost over the next five years to enact the scenario of the mass-deportation caucus and deport the undocumented population, according to a report by the Center for American Progress. Legalization of undocumented immigrants would significantly expand the economy—by a cumulative $1.5 trillion in gross domestic product over 10 years. A deportation approach, by contrast, would have the cumulative effect of draining $2.5 trillion over 10 years from the U.S. economy. Illegal immigrants are paying their share of taxes, they pay the same taxes as you and me when they purchase anything, They don’t carry a card that says Undocumented Immigrant, DON’T CHARGE TAXES
Start looking at FACTS & NUMBERS.

Who’s behind these laws?

FOLLOW THE MONEY$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Many may want them gone, but illegal immigrants in Oklahoma can be good business.

So say county officials who handle the purse strings of some sheriff’s departments in the state. Millions in revenue for transporting and detaining immigrants for the federal government have financed jobs, departments and, in some cases, entire jails.

“It’s a good business plan,” said Tim Albin, chief of the services division that oversees the budget for the Tulsa County Sheriffs Department. “It allows us to bank and put money back and carry over for other things.”

Read more: http://newsok.com/jailing-immigrants-adds-funds-for-some-counties/article/3489827#ixzz0yC9uF24O

The Immigration Reform Law Institute, or IRLI, the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, drafted the Arizona law and most of the copycat bills. The Southern Poverty Law Center designated FAIR a hate group because of its founder’s writings, its repeated participation with white nationalist groups, and its receipt of major funding from a racist organization.

Copycat laws frequently rely on the work of attorney Kris Kobach, who works for IRLI. Kobach’s lawyering has cost localities who have hired him millions of dollars while the laws have been found unconstitutional. The Arizona law was brought forth by State Senator Russell Pearce, who the Arizona press has described as having a history of associating with neo-Nazis and sending anti-Semitic emails.


Facts
Comment posted November 19, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/reagan-insider-gop-destroyed-us-economy-2010-08-10

This week, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) came out with a report entitled, The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers, which discusses the costs of unauthorized immigration to the United States. As usual, FAIR has put out a highly misleading fiscal snapshot of the costs allegedly imposed on U.S. taxpayers by unauthorized immigrants and completely discounts the economic contributions of unauthorized workers and consumers. Moreover, FAIR inflates their costs in a variety of ways and conveniently ignores any contributions that would offset these costs.

While the publication is long and deals with a wide range of issues that warrant more dissection by credible economic experts, the trade publication Education Week has already begun the deconstruction with an item that sheds light on their misleading claims about providing English language services in schools.

Another argument FAIR makes, which makes it hard to glean what their solution would be is the high cost of deporting undocumented workers which FAIR blames on the immigrants themselves. It’s a somewhat circular argument to say that the cost of undocumented immigrants includes the cost of failing law enforcement efforts. So, in essence, FAIR is saying that the deport-them-all approach costs too much money and doesn’t work. Yet their “solution” is to spend even more money on enforcement.

FAIR’s data is meant only to reinforce their vision of “attrition through enforcement.” It is not rooted in an effort to move the immigration debate forward. Therefore, passing comprehensive immigration reform – which would yield a cumulative $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years – is the only sound economic decision the United States can make.

SOURCE Immigration Policy Center

Who’s behind these laws?

The Immigration Reform Law Institute, or IRLI, the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, drafted the Arizona law and most of the copycat bills. The Southern Poverty Law Center designated FAIR a hate group because of its founder’s writings, its repeated participation with white nationalist groups, and its receipt of major funding from a racist organization.

Copycat laws frequently rely on the work of attorney Kris Kobach, who works for IRLI. Kobach’s lawyering has cost localities who have hired him millions of dollars while the laws have been found unconstitutional. The Arizona law was brought forth by State Senator Russell Pearce, who the Arizona press has described as having a history of associating with neo-Nazis and sending anti-Semitic emails.


Facts
Comment posted November 19, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

Ignorance is Bliss: Those who have NO CLUE or QUALIFICATIONS about Immigration are those who show their IGNORANCE :)

There is NO SUCH WORD AS ‘ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT” in Blacks Law Dictionary, or In Merriam Websters Dictionary. Get Educated .

“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Wednesday that the claim by some conservative activists that illegal immigration is to blame for all of the state’s fiscal problems is ignorant and bigoted.”

Arturo E. Ocampo of Tracy has been a practicing attorney since 1985, In the 20-plus years I have spent studying, lecturing and litigating immigration issues, two things have always amazed me. The first is the amount and intensity of hate spewed against undocumented workers. The second is the amount of misinformation that is published about them.

On this second point, the quote from Mark Twain is illustrative. “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” I suppose this may be true in part because misinformation, like a lie, requires no accuracy, validation or research; all of which are time-consuming practices.

The recent letters alleging that all undocumented workers are “criminals,” and specifically Veronica Suarez, whose plight was written about in the Tracy Press recently, is a criminal are factually incorrect.

According to the facts (as stated in Sharon Franceschi’s Sept. 7 commentary) Saurez entered the U.S. on a valid visa, overstayed her visa when it expired, resulting in her unlawful immigration status. None of these acts, as stated by Franceschi, constitute a crime under federal or state law. Overstaying a valid visa under the Immigration and Naturalization Act is a civil violation of the law, not a criminal violation. Being in the U.S. in under undocumented status is not a criminal violation, but a civil violation of the INA.

The facts, as stated by Franceschi, do not indicate that Suarez has committed any crime. To call her a criminal is erroneous at best, and libelous at worst.

Furthermore, it is an Americanism that a person is innocent until proven guilty. So until Suarez (or any other undocumented person) is charged and found guilty of a crime, it would be inappropriate to call them “criminals.”

It is important to note that there is a very large difference between civil and criminal violations of law. The distinction is so important that the law makes the erroneous allegation that one has committed a crime of slander or libel, (which means liability is automatic even without proof of damages). One who violates the civil law is no more a criminal than someone who has breached a contract or accidentally damaged another’s property.

It is true that entering the United States without inspection is a misdemeanor under the INA. The misdemeanor is completed once an individual’s entry is complete. Suarez, according to Franceschi, did not enter without inspection; she entered with a valid visa. According to U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services statistics, about 40 percent of undocumented persons enter legally and overstay their visas (which, as stated above, is not a crime). Consequently, at least 40 percent of the undocumented population has committed no crime in regards to their immigration status.

Therefore, one cannot assume that a person has committed a crime simply because they are undocumented.

Franceschi is also in error in her allegation that getting married and having children while being undocumented in the U.S. is a violation of the law. It is not. Franceschi goes on to say that Suarez “apparently bought a house illegally.” It is unlikely that Franceschi knows exactly how Suarez purchased her home. Consequently, any allegation of illegality is, at a minimum, irresponsible.

It is also important to note that the Immigration and Citizenship Services doesn’t consider all undocumented persons criminals. When the Immigration and Citizenship Services publishes information about its enforcement activities involving undocumented workers, it are always sure to make a distinction between “criminal” and noncriminal aliens.

Another myth is that the term “illegal aliens” is a term of art or is legal jargon. This term is not found anywhere in the INA or in Blacks Law Dictionary. The INA refers to undocumented persons as either an EWI (entered without inspection) or as someone who has overstayed their visa. “Illegal aliens” is a term invented by anti-immigrant groups designed to put undocumented persons in the worst possible light and to instill fear in Americans. It is intentionally designed to associate undocumented persons with criminality.

This xenophobic view that undocumented persons are “simply criminals” comes from the historical stereotype that the foreign-born, especially undocumented immigrants, are responsible for higher crime rates. This misconception has deep roots in American public opinion and popular myth. This myth, however, is not supported empirically and has repeatedly been refuted by scientific studies. Both contemporary and historical data, (including U.S. governmental studies) have shown that immigration is associated with lower crime rates.

The studies have uniformly shown that recent immigrants (including the undocumented) are less likely to be involved in violent crime, and that when there is an increase in immigration patterns, violent crime decreases. This has been shown to be true in large cities with heavy immigrant populations.

In the most recent of these studies, The Myth of Immigrant Criminality and the Paradox of Assimilation (2007), from the Immigrant Policy Institute, it was found that among men age 18 to 39 (who are the vast majority of inmates in federal and state prisons and local jails), immigrants were five times less likely to be incarcerated than the native-born in 2000.

During the Proposition 187 debate, then-Gov. Pete Wilson published statistics that stated that
12 percent to 15 percent of the state prison population had Immigration and Citizenship Services holds or potential holds. The Department of Corrections analyst who compiled these numbers said Immigration and Citizenship Services holds are placed on inmates who were born outside of the U.S. (therefore 12 percent to 15 percent of the prison population was immigrants). The immigrant population at the time in California hovered at about 25 percent, showing immigrants were much less likely to be incarcerated than the native born in California.

In short, the data shows you are much safer if your neighbor is an immigrant.

Franceschi owes Suarez an apology. I am also surprised that the Tracy Press allowed a commentary to run without checking the facts. Although commentaries are designed to allow for the expression of differing opinions, the First Amendment is not as generous with misstatements of facts — especially when the facts can be libelous.

For the immigration debate to be a healthy one, we should strive for a debate based on facts, not myth or tired stereotypes. We should also not let our position on this topic strip us of one of the great qualities we possess as people — the ability to be compassionate.

Arturo E. Ocampo of Tracy has been a practicing attorney since 1985, with an expertise in immigration rights and class action lawsuits on behalf of immigrants, including the way the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 was implemented, Border Patrol’s raids and Proposition 187. He is director of diversity and equal employment opportunity for the San Jose/Evergreen Community College District.


Facts
Comment posted November 19, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

THE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS ARE PAYING MORE TAXES THAN YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IMMIGRANTS AND TAXES:
Q: “Is it true that illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes and drain our economy?”
A: As Ben Franklin said, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Like the rest of us, unauthorized immigrants pay taxes on their property and anything they buy. More than half of them have taxes taken out of their paychecks, but because our immigration system is dysfunctional, these taxes are paid under false Social Security numbers. We need a new regimen in which we know who is paying taxes and can ensure that no one is getting a free ride. The only way to do that is to pull unauthorized immigrants out of the shadows and get them on the right side of the law.
Three state-level studies have found that unauthorized immigrants pay more in taxes than they use in benefits. In Iowa, unauthorized immigrants pay an estimated $40 to $62 million in state taxes, while they and their employers contribute an additional $50 million to $77.8 million in federal, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from which they will never benefit. In Oregon, unauthorized immigrants—who are not eligible for any state benefits—pay between $134 million and $187 million in taxes each year. Finally, in Texas, the State Comptroller found that, without unauthorized residents, the gross state product in 2005 would have been $17.7 billion less.
————————

The economics of immigration, Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration and someone who enjoys bipartisan support for his straightforwardness, said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between $120 billion and $240 billion from unauthorized immigrants.

That represented an astounding 5.4 percent to 10.7 percent of the trust fund’s total assets of $2.24 trillion that year. The cumulative contribution is surely higher now. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of $12 billion in 2007 alone, Goss said.

Previous estimates circulating publicly and in Congress had placed the annual contributions at roughly half of Goss’s 2007 figure and listed the cumulative benefit on the order of $50 billion.

The Social Security trust fund faces a solvency crisis that would be even more pressing were it not for these payments.

Adding to the Social Security irony is that the restrictionists are mostly OLDER AND RETIRED WHITES from longtime American families. The very people, in other words, who benefit most from the Social Security payments by unauthorized immigrants.


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Comment posted November 20, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

Existing economic impact studies show the negative
fiscal impact of legalizing mass numbers of illegal
aliens.

Every U.S. citizen needs to know this information, to
make an educated decision on whether they believe
subsidizing the lives of amnestied illegal aliens is
fiscally responsible for this nation, and our
respective states.

If anyone thinks this amnesty is a good idea, they
need to take a good look at the fiscal repercussions
of the 1986 amnesty and multiply it about 8 or 9
times.

The federal government began legalizing almost 3
million illegal aliens in 1987, wary of the fiscal
liabilities of opening more public assistance programs
to a population with high needs and low taxpaying
power.
To ease the burden on the states, Washington
closed some programs to the newly legalized for 5
years, and reimbursed the states
nearly $3.5 billion for some of their aid costs.
It proved to be not nearly enough.

~ A review of the evidence 10 years later
confirmed that legalization carried a high fiscal
price tag – a 10 year cost for aid and alone, at $78.7
billion – and the indirect and downstream costs still
accumulating 20 years later.
By 1996 the amnestied population accounted for an estimated
$102 billion costs in 20 federal, state, and local assistance
programs and services: but they paid only $78 billion
in taxes, for a ten-year deficit, on public assistance
program costs alone, of $23 billion.

~ About 1.6 million legalized workers, 70% of them
unskilled, displaced an average of 187,000 U.S.
workers from jobs each year by 1997.
Cost of public assistance to those displaced citizen workers totaled
$9.9 billion by the end of 1997. Women in the ’87
amnesty population had an estimated 1.2 million U.S.
citizen children between 1970 and 1996. Public
education and three major public assistance programs
for those children amounted to $36 billion in just the
first 10 years, and doubled by 2007. Remaining in the
households of the amnestied population, or joining
them subsequently, were an additional 400,000
“immigrant family members” by 1996. Costs of providing
public schooling for them was an additional $8.6
billion. Most of the education costs were borne by
state and local budgets.

~ Large numbers of the amnestied aliens began to
naturalize starting in 1995, giving them full access
to other programs (such as social security). 1.4
million spouses, children and parents of amnesty
aliens gained entry as relatives of citizens after
1995. The costs of public education, medical care, and
income support for 900,000 aging parents is expected
to be formidable by 2010.

~ More than 85% of the 2.7 million legalized aliens
were from Latin American nations. Mexico and Central
America alone supplied nearly 84% in total. The
educational deficiencies, poor language skills and
weak earning power of most of the amnesty population
presented serious liability to state and local
governments. The concern of lawmakers about the high
public assistance costs of the amnesty were justified.

~ The amnestied population brought little human
capital. By 1996 just 36% of the amnesty adults were
able to speak English well. English comprehension of
amnesty Mexican adults (the majority) was even lower,
at 27%. Only 28% of the legalized aliens over the age
of 24 were high school graduates, 55% of the amnesty
adults had never even entered a high school. Average
wages for those legalized aliens, who worked in
non-farm labor, by 1992 was 16% lower than the
national average wage. Incomes so low, either they
paid so little in taxes, it was negligible, or they
took money from tax revenues, by getting more money
back than they paid in, via EIC for their above
average number of dependants.

~ Clearly, some of the costs of the amnestied
population would have incurred if there had been no
legalization (public education, corrections, highway
use, grant programs etc…) but most of the cost would
have been avoided if Washington, rather than granting
amnesty in 1986, had chosen instead, an aggressive
program of removal of illegal aliens to their
respective homelands, tighter border security, and
prohibitions on all public assistance, and social
services.

~ All evidence, by 1997, the end of the first decade
after amnesty, showed the wage gap between amnestied
worker and U.S. workers had shrunk by over 3%, as the
amnestied workers entered the workforce at lower
wages, the U.S. workers wage rate dipped to meet the
lower wage between 1987 and 1997, and had dropped
twice that in the ensuing 10 years. U.S. workers are
now being paid wages 10% less than they were 20 years
ago, for the same job, while the cost of housing, in
an overcrowded market, has more than doubled. The low
end of the middle class is now in the “working poor”
category. The middle class is shrinking, Another
amnesty may have the effect of shrinking the middle
class in America yet again, and we will become a 2
caste nation, a small number of super rich, and all
the rest – poor.

~ Displacement occurs when the addition of unskilled
workers to a labor market causes employed workers to
be laid off, work shorter hours or fewer weeks a year,
or drop out of the labor force altogether. Wage
depression is also a result of the influx of low
expectation workers into an area. The initial
displacement rate in 1987 began at 25%, the departure
of 25 resident workers for every 100 low skill new
amnestied workers in the labor market. The total after
10 years was 1,872,000 U.S. workers displaced.

~ The children of amnesty aliens received a wide range
of government services and assistance, either directly
such as public education, or through their families,
such as public assisted housing (HUD). By 1997 costs
for amnestied alien children were: education $30
billion, AFDC $3.5 billion, Medicaid $1.6 billion, and
Food Stamps $1.7 billion.

~ The fiscal deficit, after 10 years, amounted to a
government subsidy to each illegal alien legalized in
1987, of $29,148 (every man, woman and child) (without
factoring in any judicial costs, as in public
defenders, court costs, crime and incarceration, any
social security costs, or environmental costs)

~ Since the legalization, the pool of illegal aliens
in the country continued to grow, and now exceeds 12
million. Immigration services estimates that over
400,000 new, long-term illegal aliens arrive each year
(with no end in sight if there is no border security).
In debate leading to the 1986 IRCA, some in Congress
opposed any amnesty unless the border was under
control, they were overridden. The results were that
the amnesty gave legal status to some 400,000 who
entered the USA illegally and claimed the amnesty
fraudulently. With weak border control, legalization
itself became a magnet for additional family
reunification, some of them encouraged by the more
secure legal status of anchor immigrants. Others came,
and still come, because they saw that amnesty as a
precedent and were convinced that the U.S. will
eventually do it again, and again, and again (and here
we are, aren’t we!).

~ The heavy concentration of 53% of all 1987 amnesty
aliens in one state – California – and the high cost
of subsidizing them falling predominantly on the state
and local governments, created a fiscal drain on that
state, which plummeted the state of California into
economic disaster within 10 years, which California
has still not recovered from.

~ Washington needs to consider carefully before
subjecting any state of the union to economic
devastation by enacting another amnesty, or making
promises about border security they do not keep


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