"Cesar Munoz: Crazed and confused about immigration reform"
Concerning you Editorial "Our Bonds with Mexico," I would agree with your conclusion that "it is more important for Utah's leaders to acquaint themselves with the other side of the immigration debate." I would say, however, that perhaps the "other side" not being considered is the cost of illegal immigration to the taxpayers of Utah.
It would only be fair in this discussion to recognize that according to the U of U study "The initial impetus for the study came through the Consul General of Mexico in Salt Lake City, Salvador Jimenez, with the encouragement of Senator Jeffrey Jones of the Mexican Senate." (pg ii)
Contrary to the Deseret News assertions that this is solely a problem for the federal government to address, the State of Utah is complicit in encouraging (and abetting) illegal immigrants to come to Utah. One small example of this action is the idea of Instate College Tuition for illegal aliens. Repeal of this law was stymied on the floor of the House this year. In the 80 plus page U. of U. study this issue was addressed - somewhat - with some interesting numbers on the current number of students and cost to taxpayers and then summarily excused that cost by saying that "an Hispanic college graduate can expect to earn $1.7 million over a working lifetime, which adds to the state's per capita income and increases its tax base." They ignored the fact that these graduates can NOT be legally employed upon graduation as they are still illegally in the US.
Also ignored was the cost to the taxpayers of Utah for K-12 education. The report correctly points out that K-12 education must be provided per Plyler v. Texas, but did NOT clarify that the burden for educating these Mexican children falls upon the US taxpayer. The report declares "Hispanic students will become an ever larger share of Utah’s students in coming years. In 2001-2002, Hispanics accounted for 5.2% of Utah’s high school graduates (WICHE, 2003). Given current school enrollments, in 2011-2012 they will account for 14.9% of the graduates, and by 2017-2018 that share will rise to almost 24%."
Using the data provided in the report: (24% Hispanic students in 2018 , half of whom are illegal immigrants), one can easily conclude that 12% of the Utah Education Budget will be used to educate children of Mexican citizens for the country of Mexico. With an annual Utah education budget of $2 Billion, that would mean Utah taxpayers will be paying $240 million per year for the benefit of a foreign country's citizens, overwhelming much of the supposed economic benefit presented in the study.
The report continues to extol the virtue of trade with Mexico, but minimizes the negative trade imbalance. (Commerce, pg11) The U of U reports that $148 million was sent to Mexico in 2004 by those illegally residing in Utah. The study also reports that, in 2000, the total income of Mexican Immigrants was $679 million (pg 11) but their purchasing power was $915 million (pg 12) and indicates the difference is "unearned income." In addition, the report concludes that Mexican Immigrants paid $67 million in taxes AND sent $100 million to Mexico. The numbers just don't add up.
I would encourage everyone concerned with the issue of illegal immigration to read the study - with a wary and discriminating eye. There is a wealth of information contained in it and hopefully it can be analyzed objectively to a proper conclusion. - Illegal immigration is not a net benefit to the taxpayers of Utah.
This was a study done primarily for Mexico. The Mexican Consul reports (pg v) that "The first specific instruction I received from the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations, Dr. Luis Ernesto Derbez, upon being designated Consul of Mexico in Salt Lake City, was to promote with the University of Utah the elaboration of such a research paper." December 18, 2005, Salvador Jimenez Muñoz Consul of Mexico