Monday, December 26, 2005

Report on illegal immigrants ignores benefits, critics say

The Governor's report said that there was great cost to the state because of illegal immigration. This group is showing that there are also great benefits. DP

John Ewoldt, Star Tribune
Star Tribune: Nearly 200 immigrants and their supporters met to challenge Gov. Pawlenty's report on the public cost of illegal immigration.

The report doesn't show the economic benefits that immigrants bring to the communities, said Jared Erdmann, the interim co-director of the Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research.

He wants to see the state recognize the economic impact of immigrant workers who contribute to the state's service, construction and agriculture industries.

Jim Wilson of Wilson's Nursery Inc. in Chanhassen employs mostly Hispanic workers. "They're the lifeblood of our company," which he said had revenues of $2 million last year.

Latino buying power in Minnesota was $3.3 billion in 2005, about 2 percent of Minnesota's total, according to information presented at the news conference from the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.

A Department of Corrections report indicated that about 8,000 illegal immigrants filed state income taxes. Although the state is estimated to have as many as 85,000 undocumented workers, many don't file taxes, but taxes from paychecks remain with the state.

Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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