Commission Studies Showing Taxes Paid and Economic Contributions by Immigrants

Anti-immigrant Proposals Continue to Fail in Wake of Arizona’s Law

As this Dispatch will detail, after considerable media hype about Arizona-style bills sweeping across the nation, the reality is that from from Nevada to Arkansas to Massachusetts to Kansas and Rhode Island, anti-immigrant bills and ballot initiatives largely didn't move or failed to make this fall's ballot.  A key reason:  most state leaders and police chiefs recognize that requiring local governments to assume immigration enforcement responsibilities from the federal government will distract them from fighting violent crime and undermine trust with local residents that are essential to successful community policing.

Arizona and the Nation: A Failing State Versus Positive Approaches to Immigrant Integration

As we highlighted two weeks ago, the Arizona legislature and Governor's decisions to pass a punitive, anti-immigrant bill - SB1070 - have unleashed a torrent of condemnations inside and outside of Arizona.  Voices speaking up against the bill have come not only from civil rights organizations, but have also included public safety officials, constitutional legal scholars, and, significantly, Republican leaders and candidates from other states with significant immigrant populations.


To bring to light the real facts about the costs and real benefits of immigration, a number of states are proposing commissioned studies on the economic role and contributions of immigrants, including workforce participation, business or jobs generated, revitalization of neighborhoods, and taxes paid. 

  • Virginia's HB 1673, passed in April 2007, creates the Virginia Commission on Immigration to study, report, and make recommendations to address the costs and benefits of immigration on the Commonwealth. 
  • Maryland passed HB 1602, establishing a 3-year Commission to Study the Impact of Immigrants in Maryland, including a study of the demographic profile and impact of immigrants, and the economic and fiscal impacts of immigration. The Commission's recommendations are due by January 2011.

Such official studies will just reinforce the message of other reports from Arizona, ArkansasCalifornia, Texas, Florida, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Virginia,  Washington DC, Long Island, NY, and Iowa that new immigrants both pay taxes and contribute significantly to our state economies. 

See also:

New PSN Report: The Anti-Immigrant Movement that Failed

Today, the Progressive States Network is releasing a new report: The Anti-Immigrant Movement that Failed: Positive Integration Policies by States Still Far Outweigh Punitive Policies Aimed at New Immigrants.   The Executive Summary is available online, as well as the full report in PDF and HTML format.

State Immigration Project: Policy Options for 2009

Download a copy of the reports in PDF format here.  View the HTML version of the report here.