April 21st, 2012 by Eric J. Ramos
IN THIS ISSUE
The U.S. Naturalization Civics Test
Pedro Gutierrez, a Great Candidate for the DREAM Act
Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul
The Faces of US Immigrants: Fareed Zakaria, Journalist
Recipes From The Melting Pot: Crepes, A French Delicacy
Quote of the Month
Study Shows That Undocumented Workers Have ‘Negligible Impact’ On Wages
According to the Obama Administration, the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has remained fairly stable at 11.5 million as of January 2011, slightly down from 11.6 million in 2010. The Department of Homeland Security cited the high U.S. unemployment rate, improved economic conditions in Mexico and increased border enforcement as the reasons. But what effect does this have on wages in the United States? According to a paper released in March by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, undocumented workers have a “negligible impact” on the wages of documented workers who work at the same firm. Documented workers at firms that also employ undocumented workers earn 15% – or $56 – less per year on average than they would if they worked at a firm that does not employ undocumented workers, according to the study.
Some anti-immigration activists have pushed for legislation that would result in deportation of undocumented workers and this would result in solving the nation’s unemployment problem. In an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch Julie Hotchkiss, an economist at the Atlanta Fed that co-authored the paper, stated that the millions of undocumented immigrants aren’t the reason the unemployment rate still remains elevated and why people looking for jobs are still having a hard time finding one.
She said “There have been claims by various proponents of state legislation and immigration reform that if we institute these laws that would just get rid of all of our undocumented workers, that our unemployment problem would go away, that the unemployment rate would just plummet,” and she further added that “What we’re finding is there seems to be no direct displacement effect of documented workers when firms hire undocumented workers.”
Yet, many conservative politicians are continuing to push for state legislation to crack down in illegal immigration, especially in Arizona, Georgia and Alabama. And it will continue to be a hot button issue in this year’s presidential campaign.