Illegal Immigration

Let’s go ahead and call the immigration debate what it is, even though nobody seems to want to say what it is. It’s Mexican illegal immigration. Nobody is worried about some British nanny that didn’t fill out her I-9. It’s the Mexicans.

So, are they good or bad? One side says they’re stealing our jobs. I don’t buy that. Unemployment is less than 6%. If anything we’re exploiting them for unskilled labor at damn near slave wages. Outsourcing to Asia is far more of a threat to employment than illegal Mexican labor. They also say they’re stealing our tax dollars. I do buy that, because they don’t pay taxes, yet they still use services funded by tax dollars. The other side says… well, the other side doesn’t seem to have much of an argument defending Mexicans illegally crossing our border other than “Well, it’s not that bad, and we can’t very well deny them health care and watch people die.”

So, the question is this: Is cheap labor from undocumented Mexicans good or bad for the economy?

Me? I don’t know. Which is why I’m opening this thread.


Actually they do pay taxes. Besides sales taxes, many pay income taxes as well; the IRS hands out special ID numbers to substitute for their nonexistent SS number.

Good, but unethical on our part. As you said, they’re being exploited. That’s why you hear so many rants against them; it’s classic blaming the victim. If we just convince ourselves of their evil, we can use them as near slaves and feel virtuous about it.

True, but it doesn’t really work like that it real life. I help out at a friends (I’ll call her “K”) nursery/landscape business, and she makes damn sure sure that their wages are filed and taxed. However, I’d make a guess that most of the undocumented workers are payed “under the table”. K had a problem a couple of weeks ago because the crew didn’t want to pay taxes. They wanted undocumented cash. She refused, and most of them quit. Too many oportunites around to be paid under the table.

Re-reading that post, I think it’s a little unclear. In a nutshell: sure, some employers declare the wages they pay undocumented workers, and thus pay taxes.

But I’d wager most of them don’t.

Are there any other groups that consume so many social resources and come over at the same rate as Mexicans? Maybe I am reading this wrong, but you almost seem to be implying a hint of racism.

According to the INS in 2003 (yes it’s a few years old, but I don’t think it would be that much different today:

Clear this up for me, A Monkey With a Gun. Are you saying that your friend is hiring illegal aliens? If so, what do you say about her breaking the law?

A “hint” of racism? There’s a lot more than a “hint” on the part of some on the anti-immigration side.

I’m not saying anything, really. Yes, K does employ illegals, but currently that’s not really considered breaking the law by those who enforce it; as long as the employees pay taxes. The laws for immigration don’t really fit the reality. The INS, GBI, and local cops all understand that there is no way to run that type of business without the illegals. I’m not sure that’s good. But I’m not sure that’s necesarily bad either.

I’m not an economist, far from it, so I’d really like to know how much value the cheap labor adds to the US as opposed to how much gets funneled back to Mexico. Also, I want opinions on if the money that gets siphoned to Mexico via undocumented workers will help their economy and thus the whole North American economic block.

Lastly, let me say something to nmbnmbnm. I don’t appreciate the “hint of racism” remark. Your own numbers say that they have increased to more than 70% of total influx. Read that again: 70%. Got it? Increased to 70%. That will have economic impacts on both counties, no?

Actually, it is considered breaking the law.

I don’t know if I am misunderstanding you or not, but I didn’t mean to insinuate that you were racist. I was only saying that by essentially stating in your OP that people only have a problem with the Mexican undocumented workers and not the British one was implying they were racist when, in fact, it’s due to the fact that a majority of illegal aliens are Mexican.

Wait, I have gotten myself confused. I understand where you are coming from. Please ignore my posts. :smack:

The amount of social services consumed by illegal immigrants is debatable.

Not even the Colorado government can put a figure on it.

Since illegal immigrants do pay taxes of one sort or another, I suspect this line of attack is pretty much a tempest in a teapot.

A lack of money is not the problem with Mexico’s economy. Sending money that way is the same as just lighting it on fire in that regard. If anything, American money coming in illegally is going to do more for keeping the Mexican economy down, since one of their big issues is corrupt officials and grift. No one feels secure throwing around their money when they have no trust in the security of anything in the nation, or even the rule of law.

I understand at least one hospital in Texas has started sending bills to the Mexican government for the illegals who get medical treatment in its emergency room and skip out on the bill.

OK let me nip this in the bud. No offense DMC, but I don’t want to see the word “racism” in this thread again.

This is about rich and poor. The US is rich and Mexico is poor. They share a large border. Mexicans cross the border to utilize the richer economy. “Race” doesn’t enter in to it. It’s money.

Everybody got that? We are talking about MONEY and everything that entails - taxes, GDP, NAFTA, outsourcing, and other things I can’t think of right now. Money.
Monty, reread man. “not considered breaking the law by those who enforce it”. by those who enforce it
Oh, and on preview: nmbnmbnm, fair enough. Sorry. I just don’t want this thread to go into the race territory because it’s irrelevant.

Now that’s a damn good point. But what can we do to help them get up on their feet? A strong Mexican economy should help the American Economy (I think).

My response was to the statement made by nmbnmbnm, which I (correctly, it turns out) interpreted as saying that the anti-immigration movement focusing on Mexicans is not borne out of racism. I merely stated that in many cases it is indeed so, as we’ve shown many times before.

Feel free to attempt to keep it out of the thread, but as long as it gets reintroduced, I’ll be back to counter it.

There’s not really anything the US can do except be pricks in their dealings with Mexico, to shape up. We do this a bit to Japan, for instance requiring them to get rid of sexist policies, but not Mexico. No idea why.

But at heart, the issue is that so much is state-owned. Even my parents’ house in Mexico is owned by the Mexican government (out on something like a 99 year lease…) People shouldn’t want to jump a fence to come to the US, they should be able to do their job and not have their money bled off to government grift. But so long as the government is maintaining monopolies that’s not going to stop.

I’ve lived in the US twice. The second time was post 9-11, so my new SS card (the one not saying “only valid for student employment” across the front) took 3 months instead of the 2 weeks my original card had taken pre 9-11.

So for those 3 months I was working ilegally, but what can I say… I blame CIA and stupid regulations to have them supervise any issuing of SS cards to legal immigrants, not my employer (which had already employed me in my home country for 2 years and had filed all the proper paperwork and was big enough to bring several thousands of us in every year, according to the State Department’s visa information website) or SS (whose employers sounded as if they’d be perfectly happy to give CIA a kick to the arse to get 'em moving).

I’m not sure what I think about the taxes issue, and here’s why.

Suppose I had an illegal alien working for my business, say his name was Sven. At the end of the year I’ve paid old Sven $10,000, all under the table, all untaxed. Because Sven is an illegal, he simply doesn’t file, and Sven pays no taxes. Had he been taxed at the appropriate federal amount, he would have paid $500 in federal taxes, at least last year. Then there’s the $765 in Sven’s pocket he should have paid for social security, so he’s into the taxpayer’s pockets for $1265 total. As the employer I would be responsible for a matching $765, but that’s not Sven’s issue.

But remember, I’m the owner. I have to fill out my business taxes as well. Normally, if everything was aboveboard, Sven’s 10K would be a deduction. Can I just deduct the $10,000 I paid an illegal alien? I sure don’t have a record of a legitimate business expense.

The minimum corporate tax rate for corporations making between $50,000 in and $75,000 profit is 25%. If I’ve got to eat that tax on Sven’s earnings, and chip in $2500, the taxpayers are $372 to the good.

So, if hiring illegals puts excess profits in the corporate books, and they end up being taxed at a higher rate than the illegal’s income would have been, isn’t this a profit for the IRS?