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Immigration field hearing

Scott Tong Aug 30, 2006
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Ask Money

Immigration field hearing

Scott Tong Aug 30, 2006
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TEXT OF STORY

BRIAN WATT: There’s yet another hearing today on immigration. This one takes place near Denver and will focus on immigrants’ impact on budgets. Typically these hearings are stacked in favor of one point of view. And as Marketplace’s Scott Tong reports, that may be the case here as well.


SCOTT TONG: You may know this joke: An economist applies for a job and is asked, “What’s two plus two?”

The economist shuts the door, lowers the blinds, and whispers “What do you want it to be?”

That’s what many Immigration analysts say about today’s hearing. It will be what Colorado Senator Wayne Allard wants it to be. The focus is local budget impacts.

Louis Desipio of UC Irvine says if you ask that question, immigration is all about red ink.

LOUIS DESIPIO: Most of the costs of the services that are delivered to immigrants are delivered by state and local governments, particularly public education and also emergency healthcare.

On the other hand, he says, most immigrants pay social security taxes, big-time revenue for the federal government.

DESIPIO: The Social Security system is surviving a little bit longer because of the contributions that immigrant laborers are making.

If you look across all levels of government, Desipio says immigrants may be a net plus.

In Washington, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

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