Thursday, December 08, 2005

One Sided State Report on Illegal Immigrants

Bruce P. Corrie, PhD The recent report of the Department of Administration on undocumented workers gives a one sided perspective on the impact of these workers on the Minnesotan economy. According to the report, undocumented workers or illegal immigrants cost the state $180 million a year. The report concludes that the net costs of undocumented workers are greater than their tax payments. ( ) Interestingly the report does not refer to a study commissioned by HACER Minnesota in 2000 done by James Kielkopf which reported the following: (
  • Undocumented workers account for at least $1.56 billion a year in valued added to the Minnesotan economy.
  • The economic impact of undocumented workers accounts to as much as 2.4 percent of Minnesota’s GDP.
  • Up to 50,000 Minnesotans owe their jobs to the presence of undocumented workers. For every undocumented worker removed from the economy there is a corresponding loss of a job somewhere else in the economy.
  • These workers contribute an estimated $1 billion in tax revenue and are a net benefit to Minnesota.
Further, my analysis of data on Minnesota firms sanctioned by the INS for employing undocumented workers revealed that a wide range of industries across 69 counties and 196 cities in Minnesota used undocumented workers (See blog below). These workers are subsidizing our standard of living in Minnesota. In order to come up with a comprehensive solution to the issue of undocumented workers we need to have a complete picture of the impact of these workers else we will just be chasing policy windmills.

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