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The economy surely sucks. But don’t go blaming it on immigrants.
A new report released by the Fiscal Policy Institute concludes that immigrants in the United States, regardless of immigration status, contribute to the economy in proportion to their population.
Fiscal studies often miss the overall economic contributions of immigrants. But even then, at a time when immigrants are being scapegoated for economic problems, these studies are critically important for those people who cannot understand economics beyond gross and net domestic product numbers.
While focusing on just fiscal issues such as taxes and budgets in 25 metro cities, the research found that immigrants, regardless of legal status, make up 20 percent of the population and are responsible for 20 percent of economic output in 25 cities combined.
A local breakdown of each metro area showed similar results. For example, in the Pittsburgh metro are where immigrants make up 3 percent of the population, they also score 4 percent of economic output. In the Miami metro area, where immigrants represent 37 percent of all residents, they made up 38 percent of economic output. This proportionate data was consistent across all metros.
The report also found that a growth immigrant labor force also paralleled growth of the economy. While correlation does not equal causation, this point does prove that immigrants respond to the booms and bursts of the economy, and undocumented workers in particular, respond to economic demands far better than their legal counterparts.
Countering claims of job losses among native workers, the fiscal study also concludes that both native and immigrant workers struggle at the bottom end of the wage specturum, throwing the cause-and-effect scenario out the window.
Also, check out another report released by the Migration Policy Institute on the economic benefits of illegal immigration, which concludes that the overall impact of illegal immigration is negligibly small and that enforcement-only policies quite expensive.
Update: The Migration Policy Institute makes the same mistake found in fiscal studies — it neglects to factor in spending, sales taxes, and the entrepreneurial productivity of undocumented immigrants, all of which are net benefits to the United States economy.
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