More Observations on Immigration and the California Economy

More Observations on Immigration and the California Economy | ImmigrationReform.comThe California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) released a report estimating that one in ten workers in California is an illegal alien. The CIPC seemingly believes that this is a positive for Californians because illegal aliens “contribute about $130 billion of California’s GDP.” It is true that illegal aliens contribute to California’s GDP, or more correctly GSP, but that is an axiomatic statement. What the CIPC failed to point out, but FAIR did, is that while illegal aliens are 10 percent of California’s workforce they only contribute 6.5 percent of the state’s GSP. Even if legal immigrants are included, the foreign-born contribute only 31 percent of the state’s GSP while comprising 35 percent of the state’s workforce. This is partly because a high percentage of foreign workers in California are illegal aliens, but it is also the result of there being so many foreign workers, including legal immigrants and guest workers, in California. While immigration contributes to the state’s GSP, using immigration to undermine American workers creates widespread income inequality, systematic unemployment (unemployment in California is 21% higher than the national average), and massive costs to taxpayers.

The CIPC also made much about occupations in California that have a high percentage of immigration workers, specifically highlighting those where illegal aliens are concentrated, stating that “they figure prominently in the agriculture, manufacturing, and repair and personal service industries. Not surprisingly the CPIC left out part of the story. In California, 83 percent of the occupations listed by the CIPC as heavily-immigrant have seen wages stagnate (rising less than $1) or decline between 1999 and 2013.

A more sober analysis of California’s economy was provided by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles in 2010, which found that over the preceding decade the middle class has been “eroded” as good paying jobs in the county have vanished. The United Way also found that over the past twenty years, the average worker saw a real wage drop of almost $2 per hour, 15 percent of the population in Los Angeles County lived in poverty, including one in five children, wages had been outpaced by rental costs, and high school graduation rates were at 60 percent, 10 percent lower than the U.S. average. This is hardly the rosy picture painted by the CIPC.


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  1. avatar

    In addition, Calif Gov Jerry Brown reports that a third (30%) of children in the public schools are either illegal or don’t speak English at a cost to County property owners of about $20,000 per year each. California has become a Tower of Babel and a foreign Third World country.

    • avatar

      what brown doesn’t say it the cost of over 25 BILLIOn each year for the cost of the illegals in california! the cost for schooling is a small amount of the overall cost. the list of costs covers everything from job loss to citizens to medical.

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  3. avatar

    Illegal aliens only “contribute” to an economy IF the economy is at full employment. If it’s not, they’re displacing AMERICAN workers who would be doing the same work, and probably for more money. Think about it. If the only contribution comes from them being here illegally (i.e. they work cheap), then they can never be legalized or you’d lose that “contribution”.

  4. avatar

    The highest taxed state in the country. And the United Way report does not, of course, mention immigration. But it’s the state with the highest percent of foreign born, both by numbers and percentage. You don’t get to cherry pick figures. Not to mention that every drop of extra water for every extra foreign immigrant is going to come at a high expense. The spigot has run dry and Jerry Brown says cmon Mexico, everyone move here.

    • avatar

      Much of the State Budget Butcher Axing in Washington State is a 40% Cut to American Colleges

      The reason they cite is we can get foreigners to replace legal Americans in our colleges and grab up double out of state tuition that way….then raise tuition beyond our legal citizens’ grasp, let alone make enrollment acceptance almost impossible for the states’ citizens wanting in-state tuition due to “in many cases” fraudulant foreign enrollment paperwork.

      • avatar

        I know they are eager for those foreign dollars. But what they don’t mention is that the parents of those American kids who get squeezed out have frequently paid many decades of taxes to support those very same schools. Something the foreign students parents did not do. I am not a big fan anyway of educating citizens of other countries to compete with us.

        • avatar
          arnlof sweigeir ft on

          They r not competing w us….they r working for us and GI ing us the American Dream…..u have it all wrong…

          • avatar

            Really? So we train workers that go back to India and China and they don’t compete with us? If their educational systems were so great they would get an education there, not here. They’re using our public supported education system.

        • avatar

          Squeezed Out on High Tuition Too

          The U of W [I estimate] is now $24K a year for schooling….sounds like a $100K student loan alone without parental and limited scholarship funding [its cut off after a short period to spread these funds to other students]…

          I paid $500 a year for the same U of W tuition during America’s depopulated heydays and if you think wages went up 50 times since the 70s I have a bridge I can sell ya….

          I just bought a foreclosed home for my daughter in Kansas City for about the price of one year tuition at the U of W….. in my book a much better investment than a “student debt” degree with unemployment later.

          Tuition is WAY TOO HIGH to make it worth while IMO and that’s another “newspeak” the NWO news won’t admit. They historically reference “heyday” Baby Boomer and even X gen college grads to recent young Millenials in a destroyed job market when they compare salaries with or without a degree….more BS “newspeak” to fool the kids into going into useless and horrifying college debt IMO.

        • avatar

          I recently read an article about how China is luring home Chinese engineers with years of experience working at American aerospace firms to help build China’s new C919 airliner which will eventually compete with Boeing’s 737.