Texas is second only to California in the number of undocumented immigrants who live in the state. According to the Migration Policy Institute, “Immigration unambiguously improves employment, productivity, and income, but this involves adjustments. These adjustments are more difficult during downturns, suggesting that the United States would benefit most from immigration that adjusts to economic conditions.”
In a 2005 special report on undocumented immigrants in Texas, Comptroller Carol Keeton Strayhorn said, “The absence of the estimated 1.4 million undocumented immigrants in Texas in fiscal 2005 would have been a loss to our gross state product of $17.7 billion. Undocumented immigrants produced $1.58 billion in state revenues, which exceeded the $1.16 billion in state services they received. However, local governments bore the burden of $1.44 billion in uncompensated health care costs and local law enforcement costs not paid for by the state.”
One in five U.S. children and one in four low-income children have an immigrant parent. Because so many immigrants work low-wage jobs without benefits, their children face greater risks of poverty, economic hardship, and lack of access to health insurance, public benefits, child care and other services.
During the 82nd Legislative Session, we can expect conservative legislators to attempt to pass similar legislation to Arizona’s current immigration policy.
Border and Intergovernmental Affairs