Wednesday, October 31, 2007

U of U Mexico Economic Study

I ran across this pro illegal alien piece in a local Colorado county paper quoting the U. of U. study.
"Cesar Munoz: Crazed and confused about immigration reform"
I was reminded of the study and my comments from last year on that study:

Two years ago the GOP Convention delegates, by Resolution, requested that the Utah legislature conduct an audit of the cost to taxpayers of the state of Utah the cost of illegal immigration. Regrettably, virtually nothing was done.
The UU Institute of Public and Intl Affairs released a study concluding an economic benefit to Utah, as reported in Deseret News and SLTribune
A careful study of the report indicates that the economic benefit may not be true, but much has to be read
"between the lines" and by what is missing or overlooked.
The full study can be read at MEXICO AND UTAH A COMPLEX ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP It is well worth reading.
Here's my unpublished response to the DNews (2006) on that report.

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

Monday, October 01, 2007

The LDS Church and Immigration

In 2006 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints issued a Press Release in response to comments by Lou Dobbs on CNN:

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has over a million members in Mexico. It does not encourage them to move to Utah or anywhere else.

The Church, in fact, has made no comment so far on the immigration debate, recognizing that this complex question is now before Congress and is already being thoroughly aired in the public square."

The LDS Church has had a long standing commitment encouraging members to build the Church within their native lands. For example:

1 Elder Dieter Uchtdorf in Nov 2005 Ensign Christlike Attributes-- the Wind beneath Our Wings :

"As the members will stay in their countries and build the Church, despite economic challenges and hardships, future generations will be grateful to those courageous modern-day pioneers. They abide by the loving invitation of the First Presidency given in 1999:

"In our day, the Lord has seen fit to provide the blessings of the gospel, including an increased number of temples, in many parts of the world. Therefore, we wish to reiterate the long-standing counsel to members of the Church to remain in their homelands rather than immigrate to the United States.

"As members throughout the world remain in their homelands, working to build the Church in their native countries, great blessings will come to them personally and to the Church collectively" (First Presidency letter, Dec. 1, 1999).

2 James B. Allen, "Line upon Line," Ensign, July 1979, 32 and Tambuli, Sept. 1979, 10

"After this concept of the gathering had been taught so strongly for two generations or more it became almost second nature—especially to the Saints in Europe. But in the late 1890s certain circumstances were changing. American public policy toward immigration began to change. Economically, the Mormon communities in the Great Basin were filling up. New immigrants would find it more difficult to find employment. More important, the Church was more secure in its western setting. The kingdom had been strengthened in its new location, the days of pioneering were over, and the challenge now was to build up Zion—the "pure in heart"—throughout the world. This, after all, was clearly the larger mission of the Church all along.

"These and other considerations undoubtedly led Church leaders to consider prayerfully what should be done. In 1898 George Q. Cannon, a member of the First Presidency, announced that the Saints in various lands were being counseled to "remain quiet for a while; to not be anxious to leave their homes to gather to Zion." (In Conference Report, Oct. 1898, p. 4.) By the following year it was concluded that it was no longer advisable for them to gather, even if they did so at their own expense.

The change in policy was implemented rapidly. The Church undertook to furnish more permanent headquarters in the missions and to build more chapels as a way of encouraging converts to remain in homelands. "We do not advise you to emigrate," President Joseph F. Smith told the Swedish Saints in 1910. "We would rather that you remain until you have been well established in the faith in the Gospel." . . .

And in 1958 three mission presidents in Europe issued a strongly worded editorial in Der Stern which epitomized the necessity to build Zion abroad:

"We have not discontinued to preach the Gathering of the House of Israel. We still call all people to come out of the spiritual Babylon, which means to come out of spiritual darkness. We are still gathering the children of light. We are still gathering scattered Israel. But we no longer urge them to emigrate to America. On the contrary, we tell the Saints exactly what the Lord required, namely to build up the stakes of Zion and to enlarge the boundaries of His kingdom

"We believe that God directs His Church through the words of His prophets. The world conditions have undergone a complete change and we must adapt to the new situation."