Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 00071958 (posted Jul. 19, 2000)"
to the Editor
The Denver Post
400 West Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80204
Flores’ allegations in her piece (“Illegals take jobs from Americans,”
July 2) ignores some key facts.
those ignored facts are: immigrants are the
key to our continuing unprecedented economic expansion; and restricting
immigration could stifle business expansion plans, hurt the profitability of
American businesses, and call to a halt our nation’s continuing economic
According to a
recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas on the economic and policy
implications of immigration, “Immigrant
labor has been an integral part of the current economic boom,” and that the
new Americans “change the skill mix of workers and feeds further [our]
economic expansion.” Even more importantly, the Dallas Fed found that
immigrants are helping to keep the Social Security and Medicare systems solvent.
The Fed, in its latest Survey of Economic Conditions (known as the “Beige
Book” because of its cover), also finds severe worker shortages across the
economy, and reports that these worker shortages “would be ever more severe in
the absence of inflows of immigrants.” In its review of current economic
conditions, the Fed found that worker shortages are beginning to hit home and
hurt our economy.
Flores also neglects to note that the Census Bureau has reported that, even with
immigrants, the U.S. still will have less than one-quarter the population
density of Great Britain; hardly something about which Americans should worry.
In addition, the level of immigration as a percentage of the total U.S.
population is about one-third lower than it was during the early 1900s, and the
immigration level is now lower than it was just two decades ago.
immigrations for our educational, environmental and crime problems is misplaced.
While Ms. Flores tries to draw a correlation between immigration and scholastic
declines, quite the opposite is true. During the 1990s (the very decade that she
claims saw “incredibly high rates of immigration”), America saw the
highest-ever rise in college placement exam scores. Contrast that to the 1960s
and 1970s, when immigration was lower and college entrance test scores fell by
2.3 points. Our environmental challenges are caused by our behavior. Who is to
blame for our dirty air: immigrants or Americans and our love of the car?
Who’s to blame for urban and suburban sprawl: immigrants or America’s
culture of the shopping and strip malls? Finally, every study shows that the
crime rate is dropping dramatically, and has been for the better part of a
important issues of immigration would have been better served had Ms. Flores
included those facts in her piece.
Licther, a partner in the Boulder law firm of Lichter Korkin & Associates,
is the Colorado Chapter Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.