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Editorial: Migration costs

Martha W. Rees

Abstract


Much has been written about the costs—and benefits--of migration--in terms of the costs to the US (or receiving regions) and of the benefits to migrants. Massey (2005) concludes that because (Mexican) immigrants pay taxes, they are not a drain on public services. In fact, migrants are less likely to use public services, and pay taxes for services they don’t use. Almost two-thirds have Social Security taxes withheld, only 10% have sent a child to public schools, and under 5% or have used food stamps, welfare, or unemployment compensation. They also pay sales taxes. In terms of criminality, Rumbaut and Ewing (2007) refute the myth that migrants bring crime. They find that Mexican immigrant men have a lower rate of incarceration (0.7%) than US born Latinos (5.9%) or for US born males (3.5%).

Keywords


migration costs; transnational mobility

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References


Huffman, Wallace and Alan McCunn, (1996). How Much Is that Tomato in the Window? Retail Produce Prices without Illegal Farmworkers. Washington, DC: Center for Immigration Studies. [http://www.cis.org/ articles/ 1996/ back206.htm], accessed June 2007, 1996.

Massey, Douglas S. (2006). Five Myths about Immigration: Common Misconceptions Underlying U.S. Border-Enforcement Policy. Immigration Policy in Focus (4, Issue 6)-August 2005.

Peri, Giovanni, (2007). “How Immigrants Affect California Employment and Wages.” California Counts. Population Trends and Profiles 8(2007): 1-20.

Rumbaut, Rubén and Walter A. Ewing, (2007). The Myth of Immigrant Criminality and the Paradox of Assimilation: incarceration rates among native and foreign-born Men. Washington, DC: Immigration Policy Center, 2007.

GAO (Government Accountability Office), (2006). "GAO-06-770 Illegal Immigration: Border-Crossing Deaths Have Doubled Since 1995" (PDF), United States Gov-ernment Accountability Office.


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