Michele Waslin: If all unauthorized workers in the Houston region were legalized and they and their employers paid Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and federal income taxes, additional tax revenues would exceed $1.4 billion.
Michele Waslin: Studies have shown that E-Verify is deeply flawed. Not only does it fail to detect unauthorized workers over half of the time, but it would erroneously flag millions of U.S. citizens and legal workers as not being work authorized.
Michele Waslin: Immigration restrictionists argue that imposing a mandatory employment verification system will ensure that unauthorized workers are not able to get jobs in the U.S. and will choose to leave, leaving millions of jobs wide open for unemployed U.S. citizens. Of course, this ignores the facts.
Michele Waslin: Advocates are going to expend much time and energy fighting yet another enforcement-only program that—absent legalization and other reforms—does nothing to fix our broken immigration system but has extremely negative consequences for law abiding employers and U.S. workers.
Seth Hoy: One of the biggest myths perpetuated by restrictionist groups is that the roughly 12 million unauthorized immigrants currently living in the U.S. use a variety of public services yet paying nothing in taxes.
Michele Waslin: While everyone agrees that high unemployment levels must be addressed, simplistic measures like mandating E-Verify are not going to open up jobs for millions of unemployed workers.
Michele Waslin: ICE expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, which is nearly 10 percent more than the Bush administration’s 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007.
Michele Waslin: While the proponents of SB1070 say that Arizona will help ICE enforce immigration laws, the fact is that it would impinge upon ICE’s ability to fulfill its mandate, set enforcement priorities, and allocate resources effectively.
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Michele Waslin: Those inaccuracy rates are huge because they mean that U.S. citizens and other legal workers are losing their jobs because E-Verify made a mistake—and, consequently, that unauthorized workers are working because E-Verify made a mistake. Of course, many more unauthorized workers are working “off the books” and never getting checked by E-Verify.
Andrea Nill: A new study by University of California at Los Angeles professor Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda suggests that comprehensive immigration reform, which includes an earned path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, could generate at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years.
There are additional hidden costs of the status quo—a broken immigration system. Employers pay for complying with harsh enforcement strategies, illegal immigrants endure exploitation because of their lack of legal status, and state and local governments disproportionately bear the burden of any related fiscal costs.
Our broken immigration system gives unscrupulous employers an incentive to hire unauthorized workers and exploit them—often resulting in depressed wages and working conditions for all workers in that workplace.