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Posted: December 10th, 2022

Does Illegal Immigration Impact Texas?

Does Illegal Immigration Impact Texas?

Illegal immigration is a controversial topic that has been debated for decades in the United States. Texas, as one of the border states with Mexico, is especially affected by this phenomenon. In this blog post, we will examine the impacts of illegal immigration on Texas, both positive and negative, and discuss some possible solutions to address the issue.

Positive Impacts of Illegal Immigration on Texas

Some of the positive impacts of illegal immigration on Texas include:

– Economic contribution: According to a 2018 study by the Perryman Group, an economic research firm, illegal immigrants in Texas contributed $86.6 billion to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) and supported 1.1 million jobs in 2017. The study also estimated that removing all illegal immigrants from Texas would result in a loss of $223.5 billion in GDP and 2.8 million jobs over 10 years (Perryman Group, 2018).
– Cultural diversity: Illegal immigrants bring their culture, language, and traditions to Texas, enriching the state’s diversity and multiculturalism. They also contribute to the social fabric of the state by participating in community activities, volunteering, and forming social networks (Orrenius and Zavodny, 2016).
– Humanitarian assistance: Illegal immigrants often flee from poverty, violence, and persecution in their home countries, seeking a better life and opportunities in the United States. Texas, as a welcoming state, provides humanitarian assistance to these vulnerable populations, such as shelter, food, health care, and legal aid. This reflects the state’s values of compassion, generosity, and human rights (Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2019).

Negative Impacts of Illegal Immigration on Texas

Some of the negative impacts of illegal immigration on Texas include:

– Fiscal burden: Illegal immigrants impose a fiscal burden on Texas by consuming more public services than they pay in taxes. According to a 2017 report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a nonprofit organization that advocates for reduced immigration, illegal immigrants in Texas cost the state $12.4 billion annually in education, health care, law enforcement, and social services. The report also estimated that each Texan household headed by a U.S. citizen paid $1,231 in taxes to cover the expenses of illegal immigrants (FAIR, 2017).
– Security threat: Illegal immigration poses a security threat to Texas by facilitating the entry of criminals, terrorists, drugs, and weapons across the border. According to a 2019 report by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), a state law enforcement agency, illegal immigrants were responsible for more than 292,000 criminal offenses and over 1,600 homicides in Texas from 2011 to 2018. The report also stated that more than 200,000 kilograms of cocaine and methamphetamine were seized at the Texas-Mexico border from 2014 to 2018 (DPS, 2019).
– Social conflict: Illegal immigration creates social conflict in Texas by increasing competition for jobs, wages, housing, education, and health care among native-born and foreign-born residents. This may lead to resentment, discrimination, and violence against illegal immigrants or their supporters. It may also undermine the social cohesion and trust among different groups in the state (Orrenius and Zavodny, 2016).

Possible Solutions to Address Illegal Immigration in Texas

Some of the possible solutions to address illegal immigration in Texas include:

– Border security: Enhancing border security is essential to prevent or deter illegal immigration across the border. This may involve increasing the number of border patrol agents, deploying advanced technology such as drones and sensors, building physical barriers such as walls or fences, and cooperating with Mexico and other countries to combat transnational crime and corruption (DPS, 2019).
– Immigration reform: Reforming immigration policy is necessary to provide a legal pathway for illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria to obtain citizenship or legal status in the United States. This may involve creating a guest worker program for low-skilled workers, expanding visa quotas for high-skilled workers and family reunification, granting amnesty or deferred action for eligible immigrants who have lived in the country for a long time or were brought as children, and enforcing employer sanctions for hiring illegal immigrants (Orrenius and Zavodny, 2016).
– Integration support: Supporting integration efforts is beneficial to help illegal immigrants assimilate into the society and economy of Texas. This may involve providing access to education, language training, health care, legal aid,
and civic engagement for illegal immigrants and their children. It may also involve promoting cultural awareness and tolerance among native-born and foreign-born residents to foster mutual respect and understanding (Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops,
2019).

Conclusion

Illegal immigration is a complex and multifaceted issue that has significant impacts on Texas. While some of these impacts are positive,
such as economic contribution,
cultural diversity,
and humanitarian assistance,
others are negative,
such as fiscal burden,
security threat,
and social conflict.
To address this issue, Texas needs a balanced and comprehensive approach that involves border security, immigration reform, and integration support. By doing so, Texas can ensure the safety and prosperity of its residents, while respecting the dignity and rights of its immigrants.

References

DPS (2019). Texas Criminal Alien Arrest Data. Retrieved from https://www.dps.texas.gov/administration/crime_records/pages/criminalAlienStatistics.htm

FAIR (2017). The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers. Retrieved from https://www.fairus.org/issue/publications-resources/fiscal-burden-illegal-immigration-united-states-taxpayers

Orrenius, P. and Zavodny, M. (2016). The Economic Impact of Immigration on Texas. Retrieved from https://www.dallasfed.org/~/media/documents/research/pubs/texasimmigration.pdf

Perryman Group (2018). A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Texas-Mexico Border Wall. Retrieved from https://www.perrymangroup.com/wp-content/uploads/Perryman_Border_Wall_2018.pdf

Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops (2019). A Statement on Immigration by the Catholic Bishops of Texas. Retrieved from https://txcatholic.org/a-statement-on-immigration-by-the-catholic-bishops-of-texas/

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