Immigration order could boost states that need it most, say experts


By Carlo Maffatt |

LAS VEGAS — States such as Nevada good get big benefits from the president’s order to provide temporary legal status to around 4 million undocumented immigrants.

EXECUTIVE ACTION: Could boost labor income in local economies.

Benjamin Ramirez, president-elect of the Nevada chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, said Las Vegas has the highest percentage of undocumented workers in the U.S.

Sixteen of the 20 states with the highest percentage of undocumented immigrants have a higher level of unemployment when compared to the national average.

“I see a great opportunity for the state to recover economically from the depression we entered in 2009,” he said.

“There are many undocumented workers who want to buy houses but don’t qualify for mortgage loans; not for lack of income, but because of their immigration status. This not only benefits the banking industry and real estate, it also generates many highly paid jobs in the construction industry. It will have a snowball effect.”

Ezra Klein at the Washington Post says, “Immigrants begin businesses and file patents at a much higher rate than their native-born counterparts, and while there are disputes about the effect immigrants have on the wages of low-income Americans, there’s little dispute about their effect on wages overall: They lift them.”

According to an AP story, “By gaining work permits, they will likely command higher wages, move more easily between jobs and boost government tax revenues, according to multiple economic analyses.” They also wrote “The new order could boost labor income by $6.8 billion, helping to generate 160,000 new jobs and $2.5 billion in additional tax revenues, according to estimates by Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.”

While many admit this may not make a big dent in our national economy of some $17.5 trillion annually, it will affect the local economies and folks like Daniel Vargas, owner of a pool maintenance business in Las Vegas.

“This is great news for my family but also for my business. I leave money on the table every day, because I can only take cash-paying customers. Now I can get a business license and work for everyone. My business will triple.”

“What I want is to pay taxes because it means I have a lot of work.”