In looking for data and analysis on this week’s topic, I could find proof of just about what ever I wanted to assert. Depending on the number of years observed, states, ages, education levels, country of origin of the undocumented immigrant I could make case for and against the economic costs to the US of illegal immigration. Ideally, social scientists would have a before and after situation to see the effect of undocumented immigrants. In “The Thorny Economics of Illegal Immigration” Bob Davis of the Wall Street Journal looked at the impact of a 2007 crackdown on illegal immigration in Arizona which caused immigrant population to fall by 40% in the state. While wages in some construction industries went up, overall state economic activity fell as seen in the first graph below. The graph itself is from the Wall Street Journal article, the summary totals were done by the Mother Jones author, Kevin Drum. (The WSJ article is behind a paywall and not accessible)
Just looking at the numbers above the loss of undocumented immigrants caused a net loss to the Arizona economy. They saw a $6 billion drop in economic activity as measured by GDP while saving $350 million per year in English classes in schools and $60 million per year on ER visits. Granted these are just two of the costs states incur with undocumented immigrants, but still the net loss of over $5 billion per year seems significant.
In the pro/con articles below lots of numbers are thrown around. Some of the data are annual costs, some are over the next 20-30-or-50 years and some combine costs for illegal and legal immigrants. It is not always clear. When considering the veracity of the writer, ask yourself if they are being clear with their statistics? Can you think of any costs, benefits or groups either missing or wrongly included? If you can, then you have your reasons for agreeing, disagreeing or both.
Have a happy day celebrating the first immigrant welcome feast or Thanksgiving!
By Nov 30:
–Read TS/IS chapter 7 “So What?/Who Cares?”
–Read all the Pro/Cons for Is Illegal Immigration an Economic Burden to America?
–Decide which answer is most reliable for Pro and Con. For your decision consider the author’s ethos, evidence presented and the logic (however briefly presented) used.
–Write a TS/IS response to one of the two most reliable answers you choose. Remember in the They Say paragraph use the template to summarize their position. In the I Say paragraph use the appropriate lead-in from last week’s response handout. For example” such as “X surely is right about ___ because as she might not be aware….” End your I Say paragraph with a “So What” use a template from the chapter or one of those on pages 302-3.
More on monuments, South Africa Grapples with Contentious Reminders of Apartheid
Growth, Cities and Immigration, Crash Course US History
The Economics of Immigration, Crash Course Economics
The Impact of Undocumented Immigrants on State and Local Budgets, Congressional Budget Office, 2007