Reasons for Immigration
Illegal immigration is the movement of people
across borders in a way that violates the
immigration laws of the destination country.
Legal immigration is doing just fine-Legal
immigrants who are playing by the rules and go on
to be US citizens are not the issue.
Illegal immigration is not doing fine.
"The U.S. Census Bureau showed that the nation's immigrant
population (legal and illegal) reached nearly 38 million in
March 2007, one-third of which are comprised of illegal
"A 1997 study by the American Academy of Sciences found
that the cheap labor of illegal immigrants and poor
immigrants caused a 44% decrease in wages among the
poorest Americans from 1980 to 1994.“(CIS)
"Tax payments in illegal households are only 28% of other
households primarily due to much lower levels in education,
which subsequently results in low incomes and even lower tax
1. First group of illegal immigrants enter the
US to enjoy a better economic life.
2. Second group consists of:
Visa holding tourists
Highly skilled workers-eventually become illegal
Visa holding missionaries,students etc.
Illegal immigrants are mainly from Mexico-
Central America -11%
South America and Europe -8%
How does Illegal Immigration hurt the Economy?
Higher unemployment rate for domestic low skilled
N1 N0 E1 Employment N0 N0 + Employment
Separate research by both George J. Borjas,
(the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of
Economics and Social Policy at Harvard
University) and Paul Samuelson (Nobel Prize-
winning economist from MIT) has shown that
illegal immigration had a substantial effect on
reducing the economic status of U.S. poor
individuals, while benefiting middle class
individuals and wealthier Americans.
• Burden on tax-based resources
Imbalance in immigration quotas
Millions of US Dollars sent outside the country
Overcrowding and financial burdens on public
Increase in Health Costs
$11 Billion to $22 Billion is spent on welfare to
illegal aliens each year
$2.2 Billion is spent on food assistance programs
such as food stamps, WIC
$2.5 Billion is spent on Medicaid
$1.6 Billion is spent on federal prison and court
$1.4 Billion is spent on Federal Aid to schools
PRODUCER/CONSUMER SURPLUS GRAPH
Original Consumer Surplus (A)
Original Producer Surplus (B+D’)
◦ Consumer Surplus (A+B+C)
◦ Producer Surplus (D+E+F)
For Producer Surplus, these aggregate surplus estimates are
invariably small, when computed as percentages of GDP.
(George Borjas, Gordon Hanson, and others)
For Consumer Surplus, ten percent more immigration, lowers
prices for low-skilled services by about 1.3%(Patricia Cortes),
which contribute to less than 1% of the consumption.
For the aggregate cost, the National Research Council
estimated that in 1996 immigration imposed a short-run
fiscal burden on the average U.S. native household of $200,
or 0.2 percent of U.S. GDP.
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) shows that as of
2002 illegal immigration caused an annual income loss of
0.07 percent of U.S. GDP.
In the short run, the benefits and costs will be
evened out based on the empirical evidence.
However, the wages of the low-skilled
domestic workers will decrease.
In the long run, the costs will out-weight the
benefits. Employment and wages for the low-
skilled domestic workers will decrease
because the demand for low-skilled workers
Is there a solution?.......Yes!
Increase influx controls
Improve removal management and entry
Money that goes to pay for those who enter
the country illegally must be allocated to the
homeless, victims of abuse, schools,
The notion that it is ok to break the law as long
as one’s reasons are for a good cause is
flawed. Immigrating to America legally, easily
or not, is praise-worthy, but breaking the
laws of the land and entering is not!