Very interesting article in the LA Times today. As an immigrant and the child of immigrants its good to see that the facts show what i have always believed and known to be true. I grew up as an immigrant in NY with immigrants for friends. Now i can’t speak to the financial impact but as far as crimes goes the findings of these studies are representative of the lives of my family, my friends families and our other immigrant neighbors. our parents were and are just good hardworking people doing their best to make ends meet and give us, their children, a chance at a better life. They did the best they could with the knowledge and talents at their disposal. I think they have succeeded. I’m the purchasing manager for a large restaurant in NY; my closest friends all graduated from college. They work for Reuters, the city of NY, the US gov’t after serving proudly in the Iraq war and Columbia university respectively. I think we are making them proud and we and our parents are definitely contributing members of American society. I still think of Haiti as my country but America is my country and my home.

Here’s a piece from the aforementioned article:

A study released Tuesday by the Public Policy Institute of California found that immigrants who arrived in the state between 1990 and 2004 increased wages for native workers by an average 4%.

UC Davis economist Giovanni Peri, who conducted the study, said the benefits were shared by all native-born workers, from high school dropouts to college graduates, because immigrants generally perform complementary rather than competitive work.

As immigrants filled lower-skilled jobs, they pushed natives up the economic ladder into employment that required more English or know-how of the U.S. system, he said.

“The big message is that there is no big loss from immigration,” Peri said. “There are gains, and these are enjoyed by a much bigger share of the population than is commonly believed.”

Another study released Monday by the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center showed that immigrant men ages 18 to 39 had an incarceration rate five times lower than native-born citizens in every ethnic group examined. Among men of Mexican descent, for instance, 0.7% of those foreign-born were incarcerated compared to 5.9% of native-born, according to the study, co-written by UC Irvine sociologist Ruben G. Rumbaut.

Both studies are based on U.S. census data, which includes both legal and illegal immigrants. They were released just days before the U.S. Congress is to restart debate on major immigration reform legislation and as numerous states, including Texas, consider harsh measures against illegal migrants.

The authors say their work shows that immigrants clearly benefit U.S. residents and are being unfairly scapegoated for problems they do not cause.