Defending Illegal Immigration

George Skelton’s article “Illegal Immigrants are a Factor in California’s Budget Math”, in today’s L.A. Times is missing some benefits our economy receives from illegal immigrants. In his article, the only benefit illegal immigrants provide is:

Of course, illegal immigrants do pay state taxes. But no way do they pay enough to replenish what they’re drawing in services. Their main revenue contribution would be the sales tax, but they can’t afford to be big consumers, and food and prescription drugs are exempt.

What about the other economic benefits illegal immigrants bring to the California’ economy (in every economy as a matter of fact):

  • This group purchases goods. They might not pay a sales tax on food but goods purchased creates a demand for certain products. Demand for new products create jobs. An example would be if millions of illegal immigrants purchased cell phones. This would create more demand for cell phones and more jobs would be created in the cell phone industry.
  • Cheaper labor means cheaper products for everyone. Let’s say illegal immigrants are working for an average of $3 less per hour. The company which hires them would be able to offer their products to the general public at a cheaper rate. This benefits everyone who buys the product. Imagine paying $1 a pound for something instead of $1.50 per pound. You now have more money to spend on other things.

I can think of  a few more benefits, but you get the point. Illegal immigrants bring more to our economy than just paying sales taxes!


25 Responses to “Defending Illegal Immigration”

  1. 1 Stacey Derbinshire February 2, 2009 at 10:00 PM

    You know, I have to tell you, I really enjoy this blog and the insight from everyone who participates. I find it to be refreshing and very informative. I wish there were more blogs like it. Anyway, I felt it was about time I posted, Ive spent most of my time here just lurking and reading, but today for some reason I just felt compelled to say this.

  2. 2 zookeeper91326 February 2, 2009 at 11:50 PM

    Yes, too bad he didn’t factor in the environmental cost/deficits, the need for more schools, increased need for infrastructure and public transportation improvements, poor school ratings, cost to clean up increasingly littered/tagged neighborhoods and freeways, auto damages and increased cost of insurance, increased health insurance premiums, decreased ability to obtain social services, costs of muti-language printing/publishing/telephone response, all to a great extent because of increasing numbers of illegal immigrants taking advantage of their apparent “right” to live and work in the U.S.A. Ever see all of the “Must Speak Spanish,” in the want ads? By that, their presence IS taking jobs away from Americans! I deeply resent my tax dollars going to individuals who break the immigration laws of our country, then feel “entitled,” and expect us to care for their families’ needs, thereafter. And, I resent our country not putting our Citizens welfare, first!

  3. 3 zookeeper91326 February 2, 2009 at 11:53 PM

    Yes, too bad he didn’t factor in the environmental cost/deficits, the need for more schools, increased need for infrastructure and public transportation improvements, poor school ratings, cost to clean up increasingly littered/tagged neighborhoods and freeways, auto damages and increased cost of insurance, increased health insurance premiums, decreased ability to obtain social services, costs of muti-language printing/publishing/telephone response, all to a great extent because of increasing numbers of illegal immigrants taking advantage of their apparent “right” to live and work in the U.S.A. Ever see all of the “Must Speak Spanish,” in the want ads? By that, their presence IS taking jobs away from Americans! I resent my tax dollars going to individuals who break the laws of our country, then feel “entitled,” and expect us to care for their families needs, thereafter. And, I resent our country not putting our Citizens welfare, first!

  4. 4 Ruben Botello February 3, 2009 at 7:54 AM

    Nuevo Plan de Aztlan

    WHEREAS, We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America honor our Native American heritage with all our hearts and minds;

    WHEREAS, We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America honor the sacred call of our Native American ancestors for peace and justice throughout our Americas; and

    WHEREAS, We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America recognize La Raza has been struggling with a new wave of racial harassment, discrimination and persecution in our Americas since September 11, 2001.

    NOW THEREFORE, We the Chicanos y Chicanos of the United States of America resolve as follows:


    This resolution may be cited as Nuevo Plan de Aztlan.


    Nuevo Plan de Aztlan is based on the following terms:

    a) Americanas y Americanos

    Americanas y Americanos are ALL AMERICANS regardless of our races, colors, languages, cultures, nationalities, ethnicities, religions or creeds.

    b) Aztlan

    The concept of Aztlan is derived from the Nahua history of the Mexicas before their southern migration from Norte America into Centro Mexico during the 11th Century. Aztlan today is Indigenas of Mexican-American and(or) Mexican descent who consider ourselves Chicanas y Chicanos regardless of where we were born, live or die.

    c) Carnalismo

    Carnalismo is the love and compassion Chicanas y Chicanos have for each other as carnalas y carnales (sisters and brothers). Carnalismo is what unites and strengthens Chicanas y Chicanos as we work together for peace and justice.

    d) Chicanas y Chicanos

    Chicanas y Chicanos are Indigenas of Mexican-American and(or) Mexican descent who consider ourselves Chicanas y Chicanos based on our Native American heritage.

    e) El Movimiento

    El Movimiento is the Chicana y Chicano Movement for peace and justice. El Movimiento is comprised of numerous academic, athletic, artistic, business, commercial, cultural, educational, political, recreational, social, spiritual, wholistic and other Chicana y Chicano organizations and individuals working for peace and justice throughout Aztlan, our Americas and the world.

    f) Heritage

    Our Native American heritage includes our ancestral lands and freedoms; and all the histories, cultures, traditions and mores of our Native American ancestors.

    g) Indigenas

    Often called Native Americans or American Indians, Indigenas are all the indigenous peoples of our Americas including those of mixed-race heritage like La Raza.

    h) La Causa

    La Causa is for peace and justice, the eternal cause of Chicanas y Chicanos who recognize there can be no true peace without true justice, i.e., the abolition of poverty, racism, sexism and all other injusticias in our Americas.

    i) La Raza

    Chicanas y Chicanos can be Black, White, Brown, Red, Yellow and(or) any other “skin color” like the rest of La Raza and the human race. The concept of La Raza was derived from a 1925 essay published by Jose Vasconcelos, a Mexican educator who called the millions of mixed-race Indigenas with Latin-American and(or) Latin-European ancestors La Raza Cosmica.

    La Raza is comprised of every race, color, nationality, ethnicity, culture, language, religion and creed in the world. This rich diversity is the unifying power, force and strength of Chicanas y Chicanos, and of all La Raza as we grow to know, understand and honor our great heritage.

    j) Latinas y Latinos

    Latinas y Latinos of our Americas are Indigenas with a Latin-American and(or) Latin-European heritage. Millions of Latinas y Latinos also have African, Asian and other Non-Latino ancestors.

    k) Racism

    ·Racial categories are crude labels based on parentage, genetics and(or) physical traits, not religious or scientific proof of one’s superior or inferior nature like racists believe.

    ·Racism is the belief one or more “races” are inherently “superior” to one or more other races. [Example: Many Americans believe “White people” are inherently superior to “Non-White people” and that “Black people” are inherently inferior to all other people.]

    ·Racism includes the belief “mixed-race” people like La Raza are inferior to those with birth parents of the same race. “Race-mixing” is still condemned by racists today. · Indigenas were considered savages (less-than-human) when Europeans first invaded and occupied our Americas. “Christianized” and(or) otherwise assimilated Indigenas are still considered inferior by today’s racists.

    ·Racists are not just poor or poorly educated citizens, there are wealthy and highly educated racists throughout government and society who strive to protect and preserve their privileged status via institutional, industrial and commercial racism. Racists are not just White, either; there are Brown, Black, Red, Asian and other racists, too.

    ·The racist imposition of the colonial English language on Indigenas continues to cause horrendous problems for Chicanas y Chicanos in education, employment and virtually all other aspects of life in the U.S. Laws, rules and regulations are selectively enforced by local, state and federal institutions against La Raza, as English is used as a weapon to deprive Chicanas y Chicanos of liberty, equality and justice throughout our lives.

    ·Private industry (“free enterprise”) also causes havoc for Chicanas y Chicanos by perpetuating racist stereotypes and beliefs about La Raza for profit and gain. [Example: Mass media and the “entertainment” industries commercialize racist stereotypes and beliefs about Latinas y Latinos throughout the world, while pretending to be “spreading freedom and democracy” alongside the Pentagon.]

    l) Terrorist(s)

    A terrorist or terrorists are human beings who use unwarranted violence and(or) the threat of violence to kill, rob, rape, torture, imprison or otherwise impose their will over other human beings.


    Nuevo Plan de Aztlan addresses the alarming attacks orchestrated against Indigenas throughout Norte America since September 11, 2001 (9/11). U.S. officials are using La Raza as a scapegoat or smokescreen to distract or divert attention away from their heinous war crimes in the Middle East.

    According to their domestic propaganda, the “real problem” and therefore actual enemy or threat to national security is Mexicans and other Indigenas “invading” Norte America, not the Pentagon killing, torturing, maiming, imprisoning and destroying other indigenous peoples’ lives in faraway lands.

    Thousands of racist media, vigilante, “homeland security” and other hostile actions have been executed against Indigenas since 9/11, as tens of thousands of these indigent men, women and children have been rounded up and herded out of Norte America like cattle.


    Indigenas have suffered centuries of injusticias including genocide, rape, torture, mayhem, kidnapping, slavery, peonage, poverty, homelessness and groundless imprisonment at the hands of the original European invaders and occupiers of our Americas.

    The offspring of these European terrorists expect Chicanas y Chicanos to ignore or forget this true account of their ancestors’ horrendous atrocities, as if these abominations against our Native American ancestors never occurred or mattered.

    As English imperialism via the U.S. government seeks to conquer the entire world, La Raza is increasingly faced with discriminatory law enforcement, housing, education, employment, healthcare, mass media, entertainment and other racist industrial, commercial and institutional policies and practices, especially since 9/11.

    The offspring of the European terrorists who originally stole our ancestral lands are guilty of receiving this stolen property. Receiving stolen property is no less a crime than stealing it. These aliens remain in denial as they continue to exploit, oppress and otherwise deprive us of our ancestral lands and freedoms from generation-to-generation much like their terrorist ancestors did against our ancestors for the past few centuries.

    U.S. racists are now working to outlaw MEChA and other Movimiento organizations being blamed for “too many Mexicans” and other Indigenas in Norte America today. Local, state and federal government agencies have also made it extremely difficult for the Partido de La Raza Unida to rise politically against this institutionalized harassment, discrimination and persecution in any significant way.

    These same racists oppose Chicana y Chicano Studies, affirmative action, financial aid, bilingual and multicultural education, ethnic studies, fair housing, equal employment opportunities and all other ways and means of attempting to create level playing fields for La Raza, as if the U.S. only belongs to Anglo-Americans and everyone else is a second-class citizen at best.


    The 21st Century campaign against Mexicans in the also aimed at Chicanas y Chicanos since we are all familia. Chicanas y Chicanos have a natural, inherent or innate relationship with Mexicanas y Mexicanos because of our common Native American heritage that is everlasting.Other Indigenas throughout our Americas are suffering from these racist attacks too.

    We are all being treated as a threat or potential threat to national security by the racist U.S. government at the local, state, federal and international level.


    a) We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America must reach beyond nationalism to establish and(or) coalesce with parallel movements of other Indigenas united around our multilingual, multiracial and multicultural heritage throughout our Americas and on outlying islands.

    b) El Movimiento’s mass communication, organization and mobilization initiatives call for Chicanas y Chicanos to join forces with all La Raza against our common exploiters and oppressors because we cannot be free unless and until all La Raza is free.

    c) Economic justice cannot be achieved without social and political justice. La Raza must join together as an international union of Indigenas to work for this justicia as opposed to permitting the racists to continue to exploit and oppress La Raza via commercial, industrial and institutional racism from generation-to-generation.

    d) This indigenous union must ensure liberty, equality and justice for all Americanas y Americanos so We can all live, work and travel freely in peace and justice throughout our Americas for so long as the rivers flow.

    e) The first priority of our new union is to abolish poverty, racism and sexism throughout our Americas.

    f) This union must ensure all workers in our Americas receive good jobs and compensation so that all Americanas y Americanos can have nice homes in safe and secure neighborhoods and communities. People unable to work will also have nice homes in these safe and secure neighborhoods and communities because no one will live in poverty or homelessness in our Americas except by her or his own choosing.

    g) We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America must ensure our children learn about our indigenous ancestors, at home and in all the schools, colleges and universities of our Americas so they and future generations will know, understand and honor our Native American heritage.

    NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America will live our daily lives in accordance with Nuevo Plan de Aztlan to the best of our abilities.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, We the Chicanas y Chicanos of the United States of America will encourage Chicana y Chicano organizations everywhere to review, adopt and incorporate Nuevo Plan de Aztlan into their own missions, goals and objectives so all Indigenas can stand united against the new wave of racial harassment, discrimination and persecution La Raza faces in the 21st Century.

    Copyright 2008 Internet Mecha. Nuevo Plan de Aztlan may be reproduced, republished and disseminated freely.

  5. 5 ace1989 February 3, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    i agree with zookeeper91326. he/she has excellent points. i clicked on the article and when i read through it i was going to say pretty much they same points. coming from a person who’s family immigrated here, i find it disgusting when you come over here illegally. Coming to America should be a honor not a right. i hate it when people take advantage of our system. we need to stop giving anything to the illegals. no matter where your from.

  6. 6 Ricardo Olmso February 3, 2009 at 9:52 AM

    It is a known fact that immigration legal and illeaglal are extremely benificial to any economy. Ofcourse an incrase of the general population will influence more activity. But who is to say taht immagrants are the only ones who take advantage of the federal system,inturupt statistics, or influence cost.I do think we need to come up with some kind of visa that will benifit immagrants and essentialy the economy.It is true that the demand and price of resources will go up, but isnt that what a competitive market is, were there is a need for jobs, goods, and resources. Documenting illegals is impossible onece there here. Thats why we need to come to a realistic agreement concerning this problem. This is a issue that has many pros and cons.

  7. 7 1human_race February 3, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    Zookeeper, don’t blame all of the nation’s problems on undocumented people that have only come to the U.S. to improve their livelihood. It is neither just nor right to say that if there were no undocumented people living in the U.S then none of those problems would exist. I think we can agree that would not be the case.

    And undocumented people do not feel “entitled” to anything. They work all day and all night for wages you and I would never think anyone would accept. Often, people will take advantage of these people’s status and instead of paying them after a hard day’s work, they will threaten then with calls to ICE. Is this how we should treat one another as humans? These people work hard (if not harder than most people), and they deserve the opportunity to chase the American dream just like anyone else. That is all they came here for in the first place.

    And in response to ace1989 who claims she “finds it disgusting” when people come to the U.S. without proper documentation, I have one question. What would you do? What would you do if you knew you were living in a country where terrorist acts were a common part of your life? What would you do if you knew there were no jobs available in your country that could pay you enough to take care of your wife and kids? What would you do if you knew that you could get arrested or even die if you tried to make the journey to a foreign place where freedom and hard work persevere? Would you take the chance and try to better your life and the lives of your children, or would you sit still and do nothing? I believe those of us whoa re brave enough would take that risk.

  8. 8 kit t kat February 3, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    Immigrats are people and deserve to be spoken with in respect, regardless of what they do. Like the article says they contribute to the economy other that throug taxes. If people, really dive into the research and look at them through impartial eyes, they will see immigrants in a new perspective.

  9. 9 Sherri Brown Econ t/th February 3, 2009 at 7:57 PM

    This article did give me a different insight on a view of immigrants. Usually i would say they make us pay more but this article actually does seem more logical even though we help them by paying taxes to support them they are also doing us a favor. By working at jobs which are lower wages making products for us cheaper to buy i kind of think its a trade off . it may not be the best trade off but immigrants do work harder just to survive in our economy but it does look like they do create a positive impact.

  10. 10 quiche February 4, 2009 at 2:30 AM

    Its completely unjustified how immigrants get here illegally. I have some family that waits patiently for years to come to America and for immigrants coming here illegally shows no morals as a person and no respect to show the United States of America. It doesn’t give them the benefit of the doubt of working legally and owning property. It doesn’t matter how it impacts us on cheaper labor and paying the $3 dollars per hour then it will just show how we treat illegal immigrants like dirt and show no respect as a human being which will create discrimination. We cannot say that illegal immigration is okay because we cant use it to save our economy crisis. America needs to repair the damages we let pass by.

  11. 11 zookeeper91326 February 4, 2009 at 3:26 AM

    Thanks, Ruben. You’ve helped prove my point that some people who come to this country illegally feel “entitled,” and you, MEChA and La Raza are partially responsible for that mind-set.

  12. 12 Rafael Barrera February 4, 2009 at 11:06 AM

    I strongly believe in obeying the law and illegal immigration is wrong, but illegal immigrants are here because it takes to long to become a citizen unless you have the money. Correct me if I’m wrong but was it 10 thousand U.S. dollars to become a citizen? People do not want to wait years to become citizens. ( is almost impossible if not impossible to find all illegal immigrants. I think once the gov finds them that they should be given a series of test(that would be about benefiting the U.S. gov and basic math etc.) and if they don’t pass those test they should be deported. I do realize the economic benefit illegals give to the economy. I live in the napa valley and there are a-lot of wineries around. When the harvest season comes around, illegals are hired for harvesting the grapes. They are relatively cheap labor and so benefiting the economy. But thy also take lot of tax dollars to live here and I believe the cons out way the pros when it comes to their cost they put on the economy.

  13. 13 Ivy Quilala February 4, 2009 at 7:32 PM

    There are lots of other people benefiting from the welfare system besides illegal immigrants. There are those who are legal citizens and are born here who abuse the welfare system just as much. I think that the focus is on the fact that they are illegal. Who wants to give free money away to someone who refuses to enter California the right way. Someone who chooses to not adhere to rules should not benefit from the government so easily.

  14. 14 Khaled Aboudamous February 4, 2009 at 11:16 PM

    Having Illegal Immigrants in the United Sates vacancy may be detrimental to many, but in contrast there is another side to the “madness” (so to speak). Illegal Immigrants play a significant role in everyday living for this country, I am not a bias Immigrant, I am an American born citizen for that matter, but i just believe that George Skelton’s article is concluding to many negatives against Illegals and not enough positives. They may not pay taxes but they sure as hell save a bunch for others.

  15. 15 Leonardo Rios February 5, 2009 at 9:00 AM

    I belive that people should stop blaming immigrants for our economi. I really see most peoples point off view, but we need to start working with each other and stop trying to find why are we like this now. if every one actually see the truth not only immigrant take help from the resorce that our goverment give. their are a lot of citiziens that take acvanteg of this help and life and eassy life; and this people are from all different races.

  16. 16 Arnulfo Solorio February 5, 2009 at 2:12 PM

    Hi all, I do belive that this topic could get very hot if we are not respectfull of each other’s point of view. I believe that only those who come here undocumented know why they had to come here. I do not believe that their financial situation or other reasons were good at whererver place they come from. Was it because of war,terrorism,hunger,looking for a better future for them and family, we do not know. I believe that we are judging these individuals by the cover and not for who they really are. As far as I understand these individuals can not get welfare. In order to get the help they need to be documented. They do pay taxes just like us unless they get pay cash witch a lot of oher people do the same. They pay taxes when they purchase food,gas and everyother thing they purchace just like us. I believe that these individuals get the blame for whatever goes wrong in the country.

  17. 17 tdubs February 9, 2009 at 1:52 PM

    The schools in California are impacted to a level which is far from what is needed for a proper education and teachers are being laid off making it even more impacted. There have also been significant cuts to the resources available to the schools (text books, computers ect.) California’s educational system is going to be responsible for educating the next generation which may be relied upon for getting us out of this crisis and their futures are being jeopardized by the overcrowding of out schools.

  18. 18 Frank February 20, 2009 at 7:11 PM

    I feel that illegal immigrants are good for this country because we as a country are known for our acceptance of people from all over the world. I like that he explained what good they do to us, but also zookeeper made a good point. So there are both positive and negative effects, but don’t forget that our country has gained a lot from our illegal immigrants. They do jobs that some people would never do because they have no choice sometime and many are just in search of a better life. There has to be a way to fix this problem so that we could make things work out without having problems.

  19. 19 NicoleMB March 2, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    Expanding on the point that this group purchases goods – I feel like especially in Napa , it’s almost comforting to have a group of people who don’t just shop at luxury overpriced stores (whether it is grocery stores or clothes or what not) that are mainly geared towards a more high-end clientele. I know there is a big population or immigrants (illegal or not?) in Napa and I feel like they help keep our low-end local stores and markets afloat. In my neighborhood all of the little markets are aimed at this group and if these people were not around all of these little businesses would go under and it would just be a huge vacant lot. Or rather, the Napa Premium Outlets would expand into that space with more extravagantly expensive stores.

  20. 20 dionicio arechiga March 19, 2009 at 10:08 PM

    Immigrant do play in important role in our economy they pay more then taxes and it true they make the products that we buy cheaper. If everybody played by the rules they would create some program to be foreigner into the country for about a year and then send them back home. For example I know of people who come pick grapes during grape season in Napa they are only here for that time and then they go back home. If people here were willing to pick grapes and get the same pay then why do they higher immigrants? Everybody in the United States wants a good paying job with benefits and bonus. But hay its not going to happen.

  21. 21 Pat Kolcum May 8, 2009 at 7:19 PM

    There’s a part of me that feels bad for the illegal immigrants because they are moving here for a better life however it is still illegal and unfair to legal citizens. While there are definitely positives, I feel that the positives are over come by negatives. Being born in southern California, I have seen and had a first hand experience with the increasing effects they have on our culture. I’m not blaming them nor do I look down upon them because I know I would do the same exact thing if I were in there position, I just think some plan should be set to better manage this whole issue.

  22. 22 Andrew May 12, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    I think that the amount of people that can be made citizens a year should be increased, but that doesn’t mean the test should be made any easier. People who wish to become citizens today should go through the same process they did when citizenship first became available to immigrants out of respect for those who came before them.

  23. 23 Walter Munill May 17, 2009 at 2:14 PM

    Illegal immigration is a nuisance to our country. During times of a flourishing economy many illegal aliens take jobs that no one wants, but in a recession like we are currently in they take jobs from citizens because they will work for cheaper and have less rights. I don’t feel that they should be welcomed or be given jobs when there are American citizens looking for work.

  24. 24 Nikolas Bunton May 18, 2009 at 7:51 AM

    Although they do avoid the one tax that applies to them, illegal immigrants still contribute to our economy and can, in moderation, actually boost our economy rather than harm it. Like this article says, the illegal immigrants in America are still consumers who contribute to the buying and selling of goods and services (and paying the sales tax is better than nothing). They also provide “cheaper labor” for blue-collar jobs that college educated citizens would never think of doing. As the cost of services declines with the amount of illegals, products become cheaper for everyone. So, although I do believe we need to regulate the amount of illegal immigrants in our nation, I also don’t feel the need to build a fence across our borders in the zero tolerance approach that many conservatives are asking for.

  25. 25 T May 25, 2009 at 7:34 PM

    Illegal immigrants give a significant boost to the tax system on sales tax. The only tax they do not pay is income. This is why i am for Ron Paul’s plan to eliminate income tax and just have higher sales taxes if you can’t afford it don’t buy it. Ron Paul for Presidente.

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