Against that background, the Public Policy Institute of California has issued a study concluding that legalization would have very little economic impact, despite widespread belief that it would.
“Our research suggests … that legalizing most currently unauthorized immigrants would not lead to dramatic changes in the labor market, either for unauthorized immigrants or for native workers,” the PPIC report concludes, “We also find little evidence to support the view that such a step would have significant effects on the broader economy, particularly on tax revenues or public assistance programs.”
With illegal immigrants constituting about 10 percent of California’s workforce, jobs skills are a more important factor in their economic progression than their immigration status, PPIC says. And it’s also not likely that legalization would have a major impact, positive or negative, on local and state government finances, it says.
The full report, which advocates that California begin planning for legalization, is available here.