Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 21:17:56 -0500
Sender: Progressive News & Views List <PNEWS-L@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU>
Subject: Fwd: ** STUDY: Immigrants Contribute MORE than they Take

From: Kevin King <>

Immigrants Contribute MORE than they Take

San Jose Mercury News, 11 December, 1995


You said posting of articles would be limited, but I think that this relevent to the immigration debate going on and would be particularly good for Harvey to see. If you agree, just foward it to the list if you don't, well you're the moderator.

In Solidarity,
J. Kevin King

WASHINGTON -- A new study on the effects of immigration finds that total per capita government expenditures are much lower for immigrants -- legal and illegal -- than for native-born citizens.

The report also paints an upbeat picture of immigrants' educational achievements and asserts that the nation's natural resources and environment are unaffected by the influx of immigrants.

"As of the 1970s, immigrants contributed more to the public coffers in taxes than they drew out in welfare services,'' the report says. "The most recent data . . . show that each year an average immigrant family put about $2,500 into the pockets of natives from this excess of taxes over public costs.''

The study, to be issued today in Washington by the National Immigration Forum, an immigration-advocacy group, and the Cato Institute, a conservative libertarian think tank, comes at a time when Congress is wrestling with major immigration bills and public opinion is increasingly negative on immigration issues.

Clamping down

Legislation is progressing in both houses of Congress to clamp down on illegal immigration and -- to the dismay of many immigration advocates -- restrict entry of legal immigrants as well.

The issue has split Republicans, some of whom see the free flow of legal immigrants as an economic boon to the country. Immigrant-rights groups say the political activism to stem illegal immigration has led unfairly to the limitations on legal immigrants.

But groups pushing for stronger restrictions on immigration branded the report, written by University of Maryland Professor Julian Simon, as biased.

"Julian Simon is not a liar,'' said Dan Stein, executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, "but he gets as close as anyone can be to one. He is intentionally deceptive, manipulative and grossly in error.''

Signifying the sensitivity of the issue, more than 20 interest groups and think tanks have signed on to the report, and they span the political spectrum -- from the immigrant-rights group, the National Council of La Raza, to the Progress and Freedom Foundation.

Among the report's most controversial findings is Simon's conclusion that government expenditures are less for immigrants than for native-born Americans.

Less welfare

According to the report, the average immigrant family received $1,404 in welfare services in the first five years in this country. Native-born families on welfare averaged $2,279, Simon says. The report makes these other points:

Published 12/11/95 in the San Jose Mercury News.

This material is copyrighted and may not be republished without permission of the originating newspaper or wire service. Mercury Center Web is a service of the San Jose Mercury News. For more information, write to

World History Archives Gateway to World History Images from World History Hartford Web Publishing