LP Journal

  • LPJournalDec2013

    Leaderless Latinos?

    Read More

  • transformista-drag-queen

    The fashion police are at the door

    Read More

  • Tom-Horne-Portrait

    Keeping Horne on the hook

    Read More

  • Zoë Saldana

    Life-affirming cinema studded with Latino stars

    Read More

  • David Luna

    Luna appointed to Mesa City Council

    Read More

  • Mario Vargas Llosa

    First Cátedra Vargas Llosa in the U.S.A.

    Read More

  • Manuel “Lito” Peña, Jr.

    Tributes for Manuel “Lito” Peña

    Read More

  • Pat Mora

    Mora Prize to ASU

    Read More

  • Sacred_Heart_Catholic_Church_vandalized_20130829122502_320_240

    Pride of place: Latino community church now an historical site

    Read More

  • KAET Channel 8’s public affairs program, Horizonte, owes its distinctiveness to host José Cárdenas’ objective and multi-faceted approach to issues

    Horizonte’s anniversary: Ten years through an Hispanic lens

    Read More

  • Mexican Consul General Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez

    Mexico consul’s ambitious vision for Mexicans in AZ

    Read More

  • State Senator Michele Reagan (R-Scottsdale) sponsored the voter reform bill that was signed into law by Governor Brewer, sending its opponents into attack mode

    Election reform law foments backlash

    Read More

  • counting-money

    New loan fund supports small business

    Read More

  • After threat of a Republican filibuster was thwarted, Thomas Perez became the first Dominican American to hold a cabinet-level post as  President Obama’s Labor Secretary

    Perez stirs Dominican pride

    Read More

  • ACLUappAZ2

    Show you my papers? I’ll show you my app!

    Read More

  • elchavo

    At home with El Chavo and amigos

    Read More

  • Friendly competitors, Laura Pastor and David Lujan, both seek seat on the Phoenix City Council for District 4 in upcoming August election

    District 4 election may be historic

    Read More

  • Florez_Jessica

    The lasting legacy of Jessica Florez

    Read More

  • joseRobles

    A life of service

    Read More

  • LPJournal

    Jews and Chicanos: a not-so-strange alliance

    Read More

  • JulianCastroAX179_408F_92

    Arizona and Texas Democrats cultivate “special relationship”

    Read More

  • large

    ‘Undocuqueers’ at crossroads over immigration, gay rights

    Read More

  • devious-maids-2THUMB

    A television screen is not a mirror

    Read More

  • Rep. Jeff Flake and Sen. John McCain. Photo by Connor Radnovich, Cronkite News

    Economic implications of immigration reform

    Read More

Facebook Twitter Digg this StumbleUpon Delicious

Economic implications of immigration reform

Rep. Jeff Flake and Sen. John McCain. Photo by Connor Radnovich, Cronkite News

Rep. Jeff Flake and Sen. John McCain. Photo by Connor Radnovich, Cronkite News

The political rhetoric and debates about undocumented immigrants has changed drastically since the U.S. Senate’s “Gang of Eight” – two of whom are Arizonans (Sen. John McCain and Rep. Jeff Flake) – started piecing together comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Where once unauthorized immigrants were referred to as “invaders” and “potential terrorists,” they are now being referred to as “hard-working people” and “boosts to the nation’s economy.” 

“There has been a huge shift in the conversation about undocumented immigrants, from terrorists to law-abiding U.S. citizens,” said Joseph Garcia, a former journalist and now the director of the Morrison Institute Latino Policy Center, during a panel on April 17 titled “U.S. Citizenship: The Economic Pathway.”

Garcia tempered the conversation with a dose of reality about the final product of the piecemeal draft bill revealed on April 15 – ironic timing consider that day was also the deadline for tax filing.

“I don’t think anyone would call this Frankenstein monster of a bill sexy,” he said. “But it’s a first step. It’s anything but ‘instant amnesty.’ And it focuses on workers.”

A new study unveiled during the panel discussion at ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism asserts that legal status and a path to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants and Arizona’s approximately 160,000 unauthorized workers could mean substantial boosts to the country’s and the state’s economies in the near future. 

Reading between the lines of the study, it reveals the economic arguments that immigrant advocates have been making: unauthorized immigrants are currently earning far less than their potential, paying much less in taxes, and contributing significantly less to the U.S. economy than they potentially could.

The Morrison study examined two immigration reform scenarios: immediate legal status and a path to citizenship within 13 years, and “non-citizenship legalization, which gives immediate legal status that after eight to 10 years can lead to permanent residency status, but provides no path to citizenship.”

The first scenario that promises immediate citizenship, would provide the biggest economic boost, adding from $174 million to $246 million in additional individual income a year in Arizona. These income increases would go primarily to low-income families, making them more financially stable. The additional income spent in Arizona would have a multiplier effect on the state’s  economy, which could mean an overall economic impact of about $200 to $300 million per year. 

The above economic benefits would not result from a legalization program without citizenship, the study says. 

Another point made was that, once these workers were legalized, their employers potentially could invest more in their training, leading to better positions; there would be more jobs created, more small businesses created, and more growth for our state’s economy.

Therefore, the study explains, a path to citizenship means increased earnings and a more skilled workforce. There is also evidence that the legalization of parents will benefit their children, too. Children from economically stable and legal families perform better in school. A more stable education could lead the younger generation to stay in school and aspire to higher education more often, becoming higher-skilled workers. 

“There’s going to be a labor shortage [in the U.S. and in Arizona],” Garcia said, adding that a path to citizenship and a guest-worker program being considered as part of the immigration reform bill would help ease a national and state labor shortage that could possibly result in an economic recession.

A copy of the Morrison Institute Latino Policy Center study can be downloaded at Morrisoninstitute.asu.edu/Latinos

See this story in print here:

Click here for iPad optimized version

This Article appears on the May 2013 issue of LPM under LP Journal

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Click here to view digital print archives
Click cover to view our current print edition

Sign up for our Newsletter and Digital subscription.
Please enter your e-mail click go.