All kinds of resources on immigration policy

Principles for an Immigration Policy to Strengthen and Expand the American Middle Class: 2007 Edition and A Spanish translation of the report’s executive summary, talking points, and discussion questions.  All from the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.

1) Immigration policy should bolster-not undermine-the critical contribution that immigrants make to our economy as workers, entrepreneurs, taxpayers and consumers, because:

  • On average, immigrants pay more in taxes each year than they use in government services, and these taxes fund programs like Social Security that strengthen and expand the middle class.
  • Undocumented immigrants alone are estimated to have contributed nearly $50 billion in federal taxes between 1996 and 2003.
  • The middle class relies on the goods and services that the authorized and undocumented immigrants in the U.S. now produce.
  • By increasing consumer demand, immigrants generate economic growth that benefits the middle class: immigration is a major contributor to the expansion of Hispanic and Asian-American consumer markets-an estimated 12 percent of the nation’s 2004 purchasing power.
  • Immigrants also stimulate the economy by starting small businesses and attracting investment capital fromtheir countries of origin.

Since the American middle class relies on the economic contributions of immigrants both legal and undocumented, a pro-middle-class immigration policy must not include mass deportation or aim to shut down future  immigration arbitrarily.

2) Immigration policy must strengthen the rights of immigrants in the workplace

  • Under current immigration law, immigrant workers compete with their U.S.-born counterparts on an uneven playing field-to the detriment of both groups.
  • Because employers threaten undocumented immigrants with deportation, these workers cannot effectively assert their rights in the workplace by, for example, asking for raises, complaining about violations of wage and hour or workplace safety laws, or by supporting union organizing drives.
  • As long as this cheaper and more compliant pool of immigrant labor is available, employers are all too willing to take advantage of the situation to keep their labor costs down.
  • U.S.-born workers are left to either accept the same diminished wages and degraded working conditions as immigrants living under threat of deportation or be shut out of whole industries where employers hire predominantly undocumented immigrants.

When immigrants lack rights in the workplace, labor standards are driven down and all working people have less opportunity to enter or remain part of the middle class. A pro-middle-class immigration policy must therefore guarantee immigrants full labor rights so that employers cannot use deportation as a coercive tool in the labor market.””

I have borrowed this list of links from here. A lot of good resources, so check them out.

Talking points on immigration policy to strengthen and expand the American middle class:

For discussions on the DREAM Act:

On why guest worker programs are problematic:

Undocumented immigrants mythbuster:

Role of immigrants in the U.S. labor market:

Employers’ use of immigration status to exploit workers:

Demographic statistics on immigrants:

Effectiveness and cost of border enforcement:


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