BENEFITS AND COSTSThe impact of illegal immigration on the U.S. economy.
• 8.1 million: illegal immigrants
• $1.8 trillion: annual spending, U.S.
• $220.7 billion: annual spending, Texas
• $652 billion : annual contribution to U.S. GDP
• $27 billion or more: * the costs of education, health care and incarceration in six states, including Texas
Sources: The Perryman Group;
Houston's pre-eminent coalition of businesses and corporations
GHP's members and supporters include:AT&T
Center Point Energy
If the 8.1 million undocumented immigrants who cut lawns, bus tables and perform other jobs disappeared overnight, the nation's economy would lose nearly $1.8 trillion in annual spending.
Texas, the second-hardest-hit state after California, would lose 1.2 million undocumented workers and $220.7 billion in expenditures.
These are just some of the findings from a study done by the Perryman Group, a Waco-based economic analysis firm, whose work was commissioned by Americans for Immigration Reform, a group spearheaded by the Greater Houston Partnership.
Houston's business community is trying to revive the politically charged immigration reform debate that has stalled in Congress. It plans to raise $12 million by December to fund a campaign for reform and thus far it says it has raised about 10 percent of that goal in pledges.
The government has recently increased enforcement, with raids at work sites and plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. But getting rid of all undocumented immigrants would hurt, not help the economy, Charles Foster, an immigration attorney and chairman of Americans for Immigration Reform, said Monday.
"If you do that, you would have serious economic upset," Foster said.
He said immigration reform needs to give employers a method of hiring immigrants legally.
"We need comprehensive reform that looks at our needs and addresses those needs," said Ray Perryman, president of the Perryman Group, which examined data for 500 sectors of the economy, Census Bureau surveys and other data to arrive at its conclusions...
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