Illegal Aliens and the Economy – is this the problem?

With the Economic Crisis, trillions in deficit dollars flowing out of the White House, and the President’s bully pulpit constantly in our face, the problem of illegal immigration has been shoved to the back burner.  The President – in his infinite wisdom – has failed to secure an expert in this field to participate on his many, many economic task forces.  Of all of the mistakes and missteps that he has made in his first weeks on the job, this may be his biggest.

 There is no sure way to know how many illegal immigrants are in the United States today for obvious reasons.  But the majority of organizations, including the government, who estimate these figures, generally agree that the illegal population is between 12 and 20 million.  Here’s a chart which endorses the low side:

As of 2006, the following data table shows a spread of distribution of locations where illegal immigrants reside by state:

State of Residence of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population: January 2006 and 2000

State of residence

Estimated population in January

Percent of total

Percent change

Average annual change

All states

























New York













New Jersey





North Carolina










Other states






 As you can see, our liberal (and near bankrupt) neighbors in California maintain the highest population of illegal immigrants, California being a place where illegals can find a safe haven from the law thanks to their many Sanctuary cities.  In this case, the old saying may apply – “As California goes, so goes the nation”.  If the California legislature chose to do the math, they may find that different immigration policies may have prevented some of their current financial woes.

 Let’s look at some interesting numbers as they relate to our current economic crisis in this country.  Let’s talk about remittances.  “Remittances” is a term used to describe the amount of money which immigrants earn in the US, and send home to Mexico.  This is a quote from Wikipedia:


In 2003, then-President of Mexico, Vicente Fox stated that remittances “are our biggest source of foreign income, bigger than oil, tourism or foreign investment” and that “the money transfers grew after Mexican consulates started giving identity cards to their citizens in the United States.” He stated that money sent from Mexican workers in the United States to their families back home reached a record $12 billion. Two years later, in 2005, the World Bank stated that Mexico was receiving $18.1 billion in remittances and that it ranked third (behind only India and China) among the countries receiving the greatest amount of remittances.


Think about it.  $18.1 BILLION in payroll dollars flowing away from US workers to illegal immigrants and on into the hands of Mexico.  And this was four years ago, God only knows what the current figures are; I couldn’t find even an estimate.  And if you combine JUST 2003 and 2005 figures, you get a grand total of $30.1 Billion American payroll dollars sliding into Mexico via immigrant workers.

 Meanwhile, in a statement submitted to the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means on March 4, 2004, concerning the President’s Fiscal Year 2005 Budget for the U.S. Department of Labor, some interesting facts came to light:


Payroll jobs in January 2004 were 2.3 million below the level in March 2001, the worst downturn in jobs since the data series started in 1939. The tepid economic recovery has left 8.3 million American workers currently unemployed. In fact, more than 1.9 million workers were unemployed for more than six months in 2003. These “long-term unemployed” now make up 22% of the total unemployed, the highest rate of long-term unemployment since 1983.


Do you see a correlation here?

 Now, let’s do a little math.  Punch 12 million illegal immigrants into your calculator (the lowest figure estimated).  Now let’s pretend all 12 million of those people worked one week each at a pay rate of $5.00 per hour, or $200 for a full work week.  Multiple those 12 million people times 200.  Yeppers, that’s $2.4 billion American payroll dollars in one week – snatched from American citizens.  No wonder we’re defaulting on our mortgages and not buying new cars.

 Seriously, I could pull in quotes and facts and figures on this subject for days on end.  But the purpose of opening this discussion is just that – to open an honest debate here on site about illegal immigration in this country.  It doesn’t matter what Bush said or Obama said or anyone else. What are your opinions on the subject?  Let’s take a little survey.  Answer the questions in your comments as honestly as you can.


  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you rate the severity of the illegal immigration problem?
  2. Do you think that a crack down and deportation of illegal immigrants would aid in the US pulling out of this recession?
  3. Do you think there should be stiff penalties for businesses who hire illegal immigrants, and if so – how do we force the issue with the government to have the penalties enforced across the board?
  4. Do you believe that 12 – 20 illegal immigrants living and working in our country have contributed to the mass unemployment figures and the current recession?
  5. Do you believe in the political correctness of “Sanctuary cities”?  Do you feel they are a part of the solution – or part of the problem?  Should California be receiving taxpayer bailout money when they are protecting and employing millions of illegal aliens?
  6. If it were left up to you alone to solve the problem, how would you do it?



  • Babs

    1) On a scale of 1 to 10, this probem rates a 9.

    2) Absolutely, deportation of illegal immigrants would return millions of jobs back to Americans, and keep billions a year in our own economy, not Mexico’s.

    3) Yes, this is an area where the government SHOULD be stepping in, and is not. Enforcement of laws already in place for the hiring of illegal immigrants is being ignored on every level of government.

    4) No matter who says these people are merely taking jobs that americans don’t want, they are wrong. It absolutely does effect our employment figures, our economy, and our crime rate.

    5) Sanctuary cities should be banned, and cities condoning the practice should be cut off from state and federal funds until they comply with the laws.

    6) I would require every employer to submit proof of citizenship for all employees. Those found to be illegal would be immediately deported. Any business caught covering up the employment of illegal aliens would be shut down, and prosecuted. I would have a come to Jesus meeting with ICE – who refuses to take illegal immigrants into custody on local levels. And yes, I can prove this. The law states that when illegal aliens are caught ICE is to notified and they in turn are to instigate deportation of the illegals. This is not happening. In fact, in my area alone, local law enforcements have been told “Call us back when you have a bus full, a van load isn’t enough for us to waste our time with.”

  • JD

    1.) Scale of 1 – 10, i am at a 7

    2.) Deportation would return jobs back to Americans but more importantly it would keep money from flowing outside of our country. Still, At least illegals do buy some things here which can not be said about the jobs that have been moved to Taiwan. We give them our money\jobs and they don’t even have to shop at our stores.

    3.)Yes, companies should be fined if they hire illegals. How you bring them out and enforce it is to offer a reward like the police do if you report crimes.

    4.)They are a leak in our economy no matter a recession or not.

    5.) I think with the proper laws and penalties in place the problem of sanctuary cities would go away.

    6.) Not sure… I think the system needs to be overhualed so we can tell real citizens from people and stop people from stealing social security numbers.

  • Bill Hedges


    Might as well forget it.

    Like the Texas farmer who held illegals for authories cost him $79,000. Today no more raides on businesses. I don’t know the details

    Look for Reid to build trains to help future Democrats come in from Mexico

  • Babs

    Bill, the forget it attitude is why our country is in the mess it’s in – because we give up before we fight for what we believe in.

    I’d be interested to see how you answer the questions.

    JD, finally we’ve found some common ground.

    On your #3 answer, the enforcement of the laws already in place is where ICE is falling down on the job. I’ve had local and regional friends in law enforcement tell me that they are required to notifiy ICE when they have stopped or arrested people who turn out to be illegal aliens. In one case just before Christmas, ICE was notified that a van load of illegal aliens was in custody in a nearby town. The reply from ICE was to laugh at them, and tell them to call them back when they had a busload. The van load wasn’t enough to waste their time with. Seriously. The county law enforcement agency was furious.

    So, do we need to fix this problem from the bottom up, or the top down?

  • Bill Hedges


    I just answered this in another article I think.

    I never said jd is not allowed

  • jean

    The United States can get rid of all the illegals in this country if it wants to. It does not want to. But let 3 or 4 Haitians try to come here in a raggedy leaking boat and see how quick we send them back.

  • Illegal Immigration Invading our nation, NUFF SAID!