I hate to hammer away at Arizona, but I’ve been hearing many Arizonans defend this new immigration law for the past week. Most of the comments are along the lines of, “If you had to deal with the huge immigration problem we’re dealing with, you’d agree with this law”.
No I wouldn’t. And let me share some facts with you, for why I wouldn’t.
Let’s start with the fact that Arizona has the 6th largest illegal immigrant population in the country. California has seven times the number of illegal immigrants that Arizona has, putting it on top of the list. Texas comes in next with three times Arizona’s illegal immigrant population. New York is next with double Arizona’s number. Illinois has 30% more illegal immigrants than Arizona. And just above Arizona is Florida, with roughly 25% more illegal immigrants than Arizona.
Four out of the five states that have more immigrants than Arizona are donor states meaning that, they get less money back from the federal government than they pay in. CA and NY get back 79 cents for every dollar they pay in federal taxes. IL gets back 73 cents for every dollar it pays. TX gets back 94 cents for every dollar it pays in federal taxes.
Arizona is a recipient state. It gets $1.30 for every dollar it pays in federal taxes.
Illegal immigrants are not destroying your economy. If they were, California would be fucked. The fact of the matter is, that California has the 8th largest economy in the world. Not in the country, but in the world.
In fact if you look at GDP by state, you’ll notice that the states that top the list are familiar. The top five (in order) are CA, NY, TX, FL, and IL.
I want to be very clear in what I’m saying here. I am not suggesting that the high number of illegal immigrants is the reason why the top producing states are on top. There are obviously a number of factors involved, not the least of which is resources.
But I am saying that illegal immigrants definitely are not destroying your economy. There is absolutely no empirical evidence to suggest otherwise.
All of that crap that you hear about what illegal immigrants are costing each state are completely unsubstantiated. There’s no way to look at the data that I just gave you, while still holding onto that myth. Again, California would be fucked if that were the case. If those assertions were even remotely true, then the illegal immigrant population would be draining the states with the top GDP in the country. They’re not.
As an aside, Arizona’s illegal immigration population has dropped by 7% in the past two years. Why? It’s the economy, stupid! When the economy tanked, jobs dried up for everyone. When the jobs went away, so did the illegal immigrants.
This supports my earlier post about how to deal with illegal immigration if you’re really serious about ending it. If we didn’t have eager employers, we wouldn’t have hungry illegals.
So please Arizonans, don’t hate the playa, hate the game.