Economic Impact of Immigrants

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POSTED: Friday, May 31, 2013 - 4:13pm

UPDATED: Saturday, June 1, 2013 - 9:29am

The number of immigrants in Texas is growing and so is their financial impact, according to a new study. 

The study put out by the Perryman Group of Texas, said the purchasing power of Hispanics and Asians has increased five-fold this decade.  Immigration detractors say more unauthorized workers mean they'll take from the education and health care system and not pay back into it.  

"It might be true that some immigrants use up services that are provided in the US, but the fact of the matter is that most immigrants are quite young," said UTPA economics professor Salvador Contreras. "They come here in their most productive years. In the years that they aren't requiring much services." 

In Texas, there may be less influence. There's no state income tax and all workers have to pay sales and property taxes.  

There's been a lot of talk nationwide about immigration reform. The study put out this week highlights what immigrant rights groups would like to focus on: if the state's estimated 1.6 million undocumented immigrants were deported, the economy would slow to a crawl. 

The study also says the state would lose nearly $70 billion in economic activity with mass deportation.  

"If you eliminate a lot of the unauthorized immigrants at this point, it would really hurt the economy of Texas," said Daniel Diaz, a community organizer for LUPE, an immigration reform group. "I think the immigration reform bill, based on what we've seen, needs to be focused on the economic issue, and not the enforcement issue." 

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