For the past few years Americans have risen up in arms against what they perceive to be a threat to their way of life, Latin American illegal immigration. However the truth is there is no illegal immigration problem. There are about 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants, yes, but they are not a problem. In order to prove this we will look specifically at Mexican illegal immigration and we'll do this for two reason; one they constitute the majority of illegal immigrants (57% of the total) and two they are the most noticeable group of immigrant (which makes them the most targeted).
So lets take the high number of 12 million and multiply that by .57 (57% who are Mexican), so there are 6.84 million Mexicans residing in the United States illegally.
These 6.84 million Mexicans sent $16 billion dollars back to Mexico last year to support their families, that means on average each sent back $2339.18 from their earnings here, after paying their personal expenses here.
That $16 billion helps to maintain many families in Mexico where 40% live under Mexico's own poverty line. Mexico is a country of 108 million people, which means that there are close to 43 million Mexican in dire poverty. These Mexicans work (only 3.5% unemployment in Mexico) and mostly work for American corporations who are allowed to pay their workers low wages even by Mexican standards. These workers buy most of their goods from American companies, from shoes and clothes to food.
Mexico imported 253.1 billion dollars in goods in 2006, 53.4% of that from the United States which means that Mexico spent $135.2 billion buying American products. The majority of the $16 billion sent back home to Mexico therefore comes back to the United States.
In other words, those 6.84 million Mexicans, not only help to maintain 43 million more from wanting to come to the U.S. but much of their expendable incomes after paying for their own living expenses, returns to the US by way of goods purchased in Mexico.
In terms of jobs Mexicans do take many labor intensive/low skilled positions from American citizens, mostly in agriculture and construction. But there is only 6.84 million of them, in a country like the U.S. of 300 million people that's 2.2% of the population. And that 2.2% is spread out mostly across the United States. In most states barely registering as a percentage. Even if we at this point used the entire illegal community of 12 million, that would only equal about 4% of the population.
Even if we took the often-repeated myth that illegals lower the wages of citizens, which is impossible for 4% to affect the other 96% so drastically as it is claimed, but even if it were true, then we should thank illegal immigrants for helping to maintain jobs in this country from moving away. After all it is the high labor costs that have sent America's manufacturing plants abroad. So if you believe these illegals are actually lowering your paycheck then be thankful for the fact that your labor cost is low enough to keep your job in this country.
So what about the statistics pushed by anti-immigrant groups, don't they have any validity? Those statistics are derived from a set of assumptions that are at the very least misleading.
1) The first assumption is that illegals don't pay taxes. That is false. Over 90% of illegal workers are paid by paycheck, using fake social security numbers. From which taxes are deducted, both income and social security taxes. They however cannot claim any refunds for those and will never be able to claim what they paid into social security even if they all became legal today, because they would be assigned new social security numbers. Essentially, a case could be made that the solvency of the social security system is protected by illegal immigrants, this is one reason why the Federal Government is so reluctant to stop illegal immigration.
2) The second assumption is that illegal immigration is a drain in social services. Most state budgets derive their funds by taxing property and retail sales. While most illegal are denied the ability to buy real property, they contribute through the rent paid to their landlords, who in turn pay property taxes. In addition, due to the inability of many to place their money in banks, use credit, or take loans, most illegal immigrants spend most of their money in consumer goods, often saving to buy a car or truck, but largely spend on personal consumption goods, through which they pay sales taxes, like everyone else does. And their use of social services is often lower than most citizens as they only use what they need like emergency medical help. More often than not however even in cases of emergencies, like pregnancies or accidents, most do not go to hospitals for fear of being turned into immigration authorities. And in most cases due to their illegal status they pay for services in cash and up front. Millions of small businesses rely on these illegal consumers, just as many others rely on their labor.
3) The third assumption is that illegals commit crimes (beyond entering the country) which endanger citizens. Actually illegals are far more conscious of not committing crimes for fear of deportation and are in fact less likely than citizens to commit a crime. They are however more likely to be the victims of crime and less likely to report it, again due to fear of deportation.
In all the statistics used to demean illegal immigrants are loaded with estimates that take numbers pertaining to the whole population of the United States, like the costs of a regular citizen to the government, add the cost of immigration enforcement and then fail to take into consideration the taxes paid by illegals and the fewer services that they consume.
In all, illegal immigrants are an asset not a liability to the United States as their return on investment always yeilds a positive balance. Unfortunately for the U.S., it looks like the only way this lesson will be learned is after all illegals are deported, and the true value comes to bear upon the American economy and society. Many who see illegals as a burden just don't get it, many just don't know, but they are all being led by those who know and just don't care for the consequences, and those are the ones who are pushing you to believe their dribble in exchange for your vote or for TV ratings.