An Investigation of the Alleged Claim that Illegal Mexican Immigration is Hurting the San Diego Economy
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This Senior Individualized Project is designed to investigate the current economic, political and social issue of illegal Mexican immigration into San Diego, California. For years, Mexicans have been coming to California for work, whether because we have asked them to or because their own economy has not been able to support them. While Mexican immigration is not a new occurrence, neither is the backlash against Mexicans when things in the California economy get rough. The fiscal impact numbers used in this project come from a report by the Auditor General of California for the year 1991. The areas of health care, education, and the labor force are researched for the fiscal impacts which illegal Mexican immigrants have had on the County. Supporters of the report say that these numbers prove the burden the undocumenteds have on our society. A wave of criticism stimulated by the report states that the costs are overestimated due to methodological flaws. The numbers look nice but it becomes evident to any economist that cost-benefit analyses are virtually impossible, let alone with numbers which no one can agree upon. The alleged claim that illegal Mexicans are hurting the San Diego economy in areas like health care, education, and the labor force needs to stop being used as a "scapegoat" for San Diego economic problems. Solutions to the immigration debate involve understanding that there will always be illegal immigration and raising a higher fence will not solve the "problem." Instead of focusing on the costs of having the immigrants here and adding to the negative connotation of the Mexicans, various groups are taking a more humanistic approach, which seems to be working, by developing cost-effective programs to help the immigrants and the citizens of San Diego survive in one city.