Friday, March 07, 2008

Mexican Americans and the Immigration Debate

A new study documenting the economic contributions of Mexican Americans in Minnesota was released on March 3, 2008 at the Minnesota Meeting in Minneapolis.

The study addresses a critical weakness of immigration research and policy that has a very narrow definition of economic contribution with its focus mainly on taxes and government spending.

The study offers a comprehensive picture of the economic contributions of immigrants by focusing on immigrants as consumers, workers, human capital, entrepreneur, tax payers, global capital, cultural capital and political capital. Within this perspective the study finds that Mexican Americans have made very significant economic contribution to the state of Minnesota – much more than has been acknowledged in the policy debate on immigration.

The study also points to a flaw in the existing debate on immigration of not incorporating the realities of our market system into the framing of immigration policy. Further there may be no contingency plans developed at the state or national level to address the impact to the local and national economy if large scale labor shortages occur should we implement proposed immigration policies such as mass deportations. The study can be found at

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