Florida Voices of Immigration Reform
Florida Voices of Immigration Reform Florida Voices of Immigration Reform

Letter to Bi–Partisan Deficit Committee

August 28, 2011

Honorable Members of the Bi–Partisan Deficit Committee:

Florida Voices for Immigration Reform, a non–partisan organization dedicated to sensible immigration reform, recommends that your committee include immigration reform as one method to address the nation’s deficit.

Creating a path to legalization of the 10 million undocumented individuals in this country will bring their income into the tax base.

The U.S. Border is more secure now than in the last twenty years.  Our nation presently has about 10 million undocumented people many who have lived here for many years and have children who are United States citizens.  2 million of the 10 million are children brought at an early age to the United States by their parents.  There are about 4 million United States children that have one or two parents in the country undocumented.    It is important to note that visa overstays are thought to comprise at least 40% of the undocumented population, while the rest of the undocumented population entered by crossing the border illegally.  The border is secure but never will be sealed until our nation creates legal mechanisms to bring in needed labor and mandates a federal employment verification system.  Congress needs to give our nation sensible immigration reform which protects our borders, prevents future undocumented migration with the creation of fair and workable temporary worker programs that fills our nation’s labor needs in some industries, mandate e–verify, attend the backlogs that separate families for years and bring the 10 million out of the shadows into a path for regularization, where they will have to learn English and go through criminal backgrounds checks. It will serve our national security to know who is here and deport the criminal element.

Failure of Congress to holistically revamp our broken immigration system is affecting our nation economically.  Immigration reform is not only necessary to boost our economy but to address the deficit crisis.

Our present “attrition through enforcement” policy will result in a loss of $2.6 trillion in GDP over 10 years.  A path to legalize the 10 million would result in a cumulative $1.5 trillion in added GDP over ten years.  Deporting 10 million would also result in the loss of 10 million consumers, whereas bringing them out of the shadows would improve their buying power and thus help improve our economy.  According to Former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, it would cost our nation $340 billion over the years to deport 10 million people.

Our nation has almost 400 million people.  Only two and half percent are undocumented.   This small percentage of largely hard working people cannot continue to be blamed for our nation’s problems.  It is not good fiscal policy to deport this population that is intertwined with our  local and national economies and throw out scarce resources with policies that are not fiscally sound but rather driven often by populism and fear.

A 2009 report by the Cato Institute found that legalization would boost the incomes of U.S. households by $180 billion in 2019.  The report states that studies have also found that immigrants give a slight boost to the wages of most Americans by increasing their productivity and stimulating investment.  Furthermore, the report found that increasing the visas available to high and low skilled immigrant workers would benefit American businesses by providing a sustainable, reliable and competitive workforce.

We urge the bi-partisan committee created to address our nation’s current economic crisis, to do so holistically and thus address our broken immigration system, since doing so will improve our deficit crisis significantly.


Gary Walk

Pastor Monica Delgado

Aileen Josephs
Co-Chairs, Florida Voices for Immigration Reform

Cc: President Barack Obama
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano
Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus
Senator Bill Nelson
Senator Marco  Rubio
Florida’s Congressional Delegation


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