Labor and Economics Publications
The Elephant in the Classroom: Mass Immigration's Impact on Public Education
Public school districts across the United States are suffering under a massive unfunded mandate imposed by the federal government: the requirement to educate millions of illegal aliens, the school age children of illegal aliens, refugees and legal immigrant students. The struggle to fund programs for students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), sometimes called English Language Learners (ELL), represents a major drain on school budgets. Yet due to political correctness, it is taboo to raise the issue even though scarce resources are redirected away from American citizens to support programs like English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Second Language (ESL).
Cost in Translation: English Language Education in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area
The high cost of educating K-12 public school students who are not proficient in English is well documented. So too, is the fact that most Limited English Proficient (LEP) students are children of illegal alien parents. The illegal alien population in the D.C. metro area has grown steadily along with the overall foreign-born population. So, too, has the number of students in area public schools that are not proficient in English. The money spent on LEP education in the D.C. area is substantial.
Generation Jobless (2014)
Facing chronic unemployment and underemployment, Millennials are confronted with a future that is anything but bright. Many Millennials are failing to establish stable careers, while shouldering sizeable student loan debts. Those who do not graduate from college face a labor market in which there are few available jobs paying a living wage.
Birth Rates,Population Growth and the Economy (2013)
High rates of immigration and high rates of population increase do not result in higher rates of economic growth. States with higher rates of immigration have on average lower average GDP per capita than states with lower rates of immigration.
Out of the Shadows (2013)
Unrestrained immigration is not the sole cause of America's economic and fiscal misfortunes, but it is a major contributing factor. The current U.S. immigration system does not take into account the broad national interest. Instead it favors narrow special interests that have direct political and financial ties to policymakers. The President and members of Congress have abandoned their moral obligation to protect American workers and their custodial responsibility to enact legislation mindful of its effects on future generations.
Illegal Immigration and Agribusiness (2013)
Over the past several decades, the agribusiness industry has grown increasingly dependent on a steady supply of workers who have entered the country illegally. It has consistently opposed an immigration policy that would result in a legal workforce. Their position is that current hiring practices are crucial for the survival of the industry. In this study, we explore the impact on profits of commercial farms if the increased labor costs are absorbed by the producers and the consequent effect on overall farm business.
Immigration: Fueling U.S. Income Inequality (2013)
Immigration — especially illegal immigration — has fueled the nation's rapidly increasing income inequality. Legal immigration adds both high-wage earners and low-wage earners and contributes to a shrinking middle class. Illegal immigration adds low-wage workers and thereby dampens job opportunities and wages for competing U.S. workers. The educational and English language deficits of illegal aliens relegate them to low-wage work regardless of legal status. A study of 1986 amnesty beneficiaries showed that five years after receiving legal status most had not risen above their previous low-wage work and a majority had lost ground compared to other workers. These findings are directly applicable to the debate over another amnesty.
English Language Learners and Public Education in Utah (2012)
Utah's has one of the nation's fastest-growing Limited English Proficient (LEP) populations which has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of students enrolled in Utah's public schools who are not fluent in English. In 2010-11, the total cost of LEP education in Utah was over $435 million. Half of these students are enrolled in schools in Granite (Salt Lake County), Ogden, or Salt Lake City districts. Despite its failure to secure the U.S. border and implement reasonable levels of legal immigration, which has resulted in the cost burden of LEP education at the local level, the federal government contributes only 1 percent of the cost of LEP education in Utah.
A Change of Plans: Rethinking Rapid Growth in a Finite World
Americans have been conditioned to believe that population growth is always an indicator of economic prosperity, and that communities must grow in size to maintain their vitality. Locally powerful special interests like the real estate and construction industries promote and reinforce this idea. They lobby intensely for pro-growth initiatives that funnel tax money into development projects that benefit only a small minority of well-connected elites. This report demonstrates that growth in size is not an effective way to promote economic wellbeing, and that the policies cities use to promote growth harm the economy even further.
HB56: Helping to Move Alabama’s Economy Forward (2012)
Alabama's comprehensive immigration enforcement law, HB56, was passed to provide economic opportunities for the legal residents of the state, and it is already doing just that, helping to put Alabamians back to work. HB56 is providing opportunities to less-educated Alabamians so that they can enter the job market, acquiring necessary job skills while supporting their families. It will also create conditions that will lead to a more educated, skilled, and stable workforce that will entice employers to set up operation in the state and hire locally.
The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers (2013)
Illegal immigration costs federal and local taxpayers $113 billion a year. That is an average cost to native-headed households of $1,117 a year. This pioneering study, revised for 2013 brings together data and estimates of the fiscal cost resulting from federal, state and local expenditures on illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children. Separate estimates are available for each state.
Selling America Short: The Failure of the EB-5 Visa Program (2012)
The Employment Based 5th Preference (EB-5) Visa, also known as the Immigrant Investor Program, was established by Congress in 1990 to grant foreign nationals legal permanent residency (LPR) status for investing in the U.S. and creating jobs for at least two years (INA §203(b)(5)).
Recent Demographic Change in Arizona: Anatomy of Effective Immigration Reform Legislation (2012)
Arizona policymakers have achieved notable success in their objective of deterring illegal immigration. Their achievements include a reduction in the illegal alien population and, as a consequence, a saving in related state and local expenditures. Census data and federal government estimates reveal a major shift in recent arrival and departure of aliens with related drops in low income families, births, limited English speakers in school and in crime -- to name just a few of the changes.
Jobs Americans Can't Do? The Myth of a Skilled Worker Shortage (2011)
Skilled guest worker programs are being abused by employers, putting many Americans out of work and denying opportunities to millions of others. Even with unemployment at a 30-year high, corporate executives who use foreign workers to suppress wages in the tech industry have found support on Capitol Hill and in the White House. It goes against all sense of fairness, and it is astounding to realize, that Americans are being denied job opportunities while at the same time politicians are calling for the expansion of guest worker programs that will exacerbate this problem.
Immigration, Poverty and Low-Wage Earners: The Harmful Effects of Unskilled Immigrants on American Workers (2011)
Today’s immigration system is dysfunctional because it is not responsive to the socioeconomic conditions of the country. Only a small share of legally admitted immigrants is sponsored by employers while the bulk are admitted because of family ties to earlier immigrants who may be living in poverty or near poverty. As a result, immigration contributes to an already-existing surplus of low-skilled workers, increasing job competition and driving down wages and conditions to the detriment of American workers. The presence of a large illegal workforce perpetuates a vicious cycle as degraded work conditions discourage Americans from seeking these jobs and make employers more dependent on an illegal foreign workforce. America’s massive low-skill labor force and illegal alien population allow employers to offer low pay and deplorable conditions.
Immigration and English Language Learners in Nevada:
A Case Study of Clark and Washoe Counties (2010)
Nevada has had one of the fastest growing foreign-born populations in the U.S. over the past three decades. One result of this growth was the rapid increase in the number of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students enrolled in Nevada's public schools. In 2008-09 the total cost of LEP education in Nevada was over $730 million. Ninety-four percent of these students are enrolled in schools in either Clark (Las Vegas) or Washoe (Reno) County. Unlike most states, Nevada does not allocate funds specifically earmarked for LEP education. Thus, the additional cost for LEP students come directly out of the general education budget, absorbing precious dollars that are not spent on English-speaking students. Nevada's public school system is ranked last of all states and comes in only ahead of the District of Columbia.
Amnesty and the American Worker
Unemployment is at its highest level in 27 years. Since the current recession began in 2007, the U.S. economy has lost over 8.4 million jobs, the largest drop since the Great Depression. According to February 2010 Census Bureau figures, 13.2 million native-born workers were unemployed -- not including those Americans who have been forced to work part-time, taken temporary work, or who have given up looking for work altogether. At the same time, there are an estimated 7.5 million illegal aliens in the U.S. workforce.
English Learners and Immigration: A Case Study of Prince George's County, Maryland
Prince George's County is an example of how Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students impact school spending, and how LEP students fair poorly in the struggle to attain basic levels of reading, mathematics, and science. The impact that a large influx of LEP students into a particular district has on native-born children is something that needs further study. Is the quality of American public school education suffering from the growing numbers of immigrant children who do not speak English? In Prince George's County, precious resources are being diverted away from the general student population and into LEP education. As the Prince George's County Board of Education cuts crucial programs and consolidates eight district schools, it is planning new "language immersion" centers.
Paving the Road to Amnesty
As President Obama closes the books on his first year in office, his record, as opposed to his rhetoric, now defines his political agenda. During 2009, President Obama's record on immigration policy points to certain inescapable conclusions. The overriding objectives of this administration are to enact a massive amnesty for current illegal aliens and vastly expand future flows of immigration to the United States.
The Sinking Lifeboat: Uncontrolled Immigration and the U.S. Health Care System in 2009
The impact of unchecked immigration on America's health care system is again receiving much attention. FAIR updates its 2004 publication with the current cost of uncompensated care for immigrants and illegal aliens, and the growing expense of Medicaid coverage for their U.S.-born children. Hospital closures and service and staff reductions continue at an alarming rate, and the ever-increasing burden on U.S. taxpayers has reached $10.5 billion annually. This report looks at how the situation has gotten so out of hand, and proposes solutions to remedy the current crisis.
Amnesty and Joblessness
With the recent official unemployment rate of 10.2 percent, American workers are now facing the worst job market in 25 years. In fact, over the past 60 years, the unemployment rate has rarely been as high as it is today. Despite a difficult job market, President Obama and leaders in Congress are talking about passing so-called "comprehensive immigration reform" legislation. This legislation would give amnesty to 12 million or more illegal aliens, including an estimated 8.3 million illegal aliens who hold jobs they never should have had, and could include a proposed new guest-worker provision to import hundreds of thousands of additional foreign workers.
Amnesty and the Economy: Myths, Lies, and Obfuscation
Amnesty advocates are trying to persuade the public and Members of Congress that the sagging economy and rising unemployment in 2009 should not impede adoption of an amnesty for illegal aliens because, they argue, an amnesty would help the economy. If bold, baseless assertions such as these would win the immigration debate, the debate would be over. Their argument spins a fantasyland out of partial and misleading data. Our analysis of those assertions demonstrates not only that their claims are baseless, but also that the opposite is true, i.e. an amnesty would be costly to the economy as well as further depressing job opportunities for Americans.
Limited English Proficiency Enrollment and Rapidly Rising Costs (2007)
Between 1995 and 2005, the number of children in our nation's public schools listed as Limited English Proficient (LEP) increased by some 1.2 million. In 2005, approximately 4.5 million K-12 children in public schools around the country required special educational programs to help them master basic English, a 38 percent increase over a decade earlier. The total bill to the taxpayers for LEP programs likely exceeds $4 billion annually.