Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Finally Getting It Right

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Democratic leaders in Congress have been negotiating with theirRepublican counterparts and the Bush administration to craft aproposal to address the growing problem of illegal immigration. Inthe previous Republican Congress, the Senate passed a comprehensiveimmigration reform bill in May 2006, but the effort died in theHouse. With Democrats now in charge of Congress, Senate MajorityLeader Harry Reid has stated his intention to schedule two weeks ofdebate on immigration reform in coming days. Congress and thepresident should seize this opportunity to fix our nation'sdysfunctional immigration system in a way that guards our security,enhances our market economy, and upholds our ideals as anation.

According to the most widely accepted estimates, about 12million foreign-born people are living in the United States withoutauthorization, and that number is growing by 400,000 to 500,000 ayear.1

Any lasting solution to the challenge of illegal immigrationmust recognize the important contribution that immigrants have madeand continue to make to the success of America's free-marketeconomy. To succeed, comprehensive reform must accommodate thelegitimate need of American employers to hire the workers theyrequire to meet the demands of their customers. Reform must alsoaddress the legitimate expectation that the rule of law will berespected and that illegal immigration will be replaced by legalimmigration.

The challenge for Congress and the president is to enact acomprehensive reform of U.S. immigration laws that is not onlypolitically salable but also consistent with the realities of theAmerican labor market.

Immigration and the American Workforce

Despite the claims by critics of immigration reform, America isnot being 'flooded' with immigrants. When we consider the rate ofimmigration--the number of immigrants entering the United Stateseach year as a share of our population-- the current inflow ofimmigrants is well within American historical norms. Since 2000,the annual number of legal and illegal immigrants joining the U.S.population has averaged 5.1 per 1,000 U.S. residents. That comparesto a rate of 10.4 immigrants per 1,000 in the decade of 1901-10 atthe peak of the Great Migration. In fact, today the immigrationrate is lower than during any decade between 1840 and 1920 (Figure1).2

The number of foreign-born residents as a share of the U.S.population is also below historical highs. Today, foreign- bornresidents are 12.7 percent of the population, below the peak of14.7 percent in 1910.3 A higher share of U.S. residents was foreign-bornin every decade from 1860 through 1920 than is today. If we are animmigrant nation today, we were more of an immigrant nation acentury ago.

Immigration has allowed the U.S. population to maintain a modestand in fact declining rate of growth. During the 20th century, from1900 to 2000, America's population growth averaged 1.32 percent peryear. Since 1980, even with growing numbers of immigrants, ourannual growth rate has slipped to 1.07 percent, and since 2000, ithas actually fallen to slightly below 1 percent. Only one otherperiod in U.S. history has witnessed slower population growth thanwe have seen in the past 26 years, the Great Depression of the1930s.4

Rising levels of immigration have only partially offset thesteep decline in the natural population growth of births overdeaths. The natural rate of growth of the U.S. population hasplunged by more than half since the early 1960s, from about 1.4percent per year to below 0.6 percent during the last decade. Netforeign migration has edged up slightly as a share of populationgrowth, but not enough to reverse the long-term downward trend ofthe overall growth rate.5 Immigration has not spurred a population explosionin the United States; it has saved the United States from apopulation implosion.

The Economics of Low-skilled Immigration

Low-skilled migrant workers enter the United States in responseto demand in our labor market. The continuing inflow of unskilledimmigrants to the United States has been driven by two powerfuleconomic and demographic trends.

On the demand side, the U.S. economy continues to createhundreds of thousands of net new jobs each year that requirerelatively low skills. Although the fastest-growing categories ofnew jobs being created in our increasingly sophisticated economyrequire at least some specialized skills, training, and education,jobs are also being created in lower-skilled, mostly servicesectors that complement the higher-end jobs.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, between 2004 and2014, the U.S. economy will add several million net new jobs thatrequire only short-term, on-the-job training. The largest growth isoccurring in the categories of retail salespersons; janitors andcleaners; waiters and waitresses; food preparation and servingworkers, including fast food; home health and personal care aides;laborers and handmovers of freight, stock and other materials; andlandscaping and groundskeeping workers. Net new jobs to be addedduring the decade in those categories alone will amount to 3.4million, according to Department of Labor estimates.6

Meanwhile, on the supply side, the pool of native-born Americanswho have traditionally filled such jobs continues to shrink as webecome older and better educated. According to the LaborDepartment, the median age of Americans in the workforce has beenrising as the Baby Boomer cohort moves through middle age towardretirement. As a result, the median age of U.S. workers will soonreach 41.6 years, the highest in American history.7

As American workers have been growing older, they have alsobecome better educated. In the early 1960s, fully one-half of adultAmericans in the workforce did not possess a high school diploma.By 2004, only 6.6 percent of nativeborn American adults werelaboring without a high school education.8 In absolute numbers, the number of highschool dropouts in the workforce declined by 4.6 million between1996 and 2004.9Looked at another way, in the 1960s, high school dropoutsoutnumbered college graduates four to one; today, college graduatesoutnumber dropouts five to one.

A better educated labor force is a profoundly positivedevelopment for our country, but it also means that there are fewerworkers available who are willing to claim the still growing numberof jobs in our economy that require few skills and minimal formaleducation.

Immigrants fill the growing gap between the expanding number oflow-skilled jobs and the shrinking pool of nativeborn Americans whowould want such jobs. By filling this gap, immigrant workers enableimportant sectors of the U.S. economy, such as retail,construction, landscaping, restaurants, and hotels, to continue togrow and meet the needs of their customers. Because of low-skilledimmigrants, those sectors have been able to expand, attractinvestment, and create middle-class jobs in management,bookkeeping, marketing, and other areas that employ native-bornAmericans.

Failures to Curb Illegal Immigration

Despite those powerful economic and demographic realities, ourimmigration system contains no legal provision for lower-skilledforeign-born workers to enter the country legally to fill the jobsthat an insufficient number of Americans want. Visa categories suchas the H1-B program exist for highly skilled foreign-born workerssuch as computer scientists, physics professors, and even thinktank policy analysts. Other categories exist for close relatives ofimmigrants already in the country legally. But a peaceful,hardworking 24-year-old in Mexico or Central America who knows of ajob in the United States for which no Americans are availablesimply has no legal means of entering the United States. The resultof this missing channel in our immigration system, unfortunately,is wide-scale illegal immigration.

For the past 20 years, the U.S. government has pursued a policyof "enforcement only" in its effort to curb illegal immigration.Since the late 1980s, spending on border enforcement has grownexponentially. The number of Border Patrol officers grew threefoldbetween 1986 and 2002 and will double again before President Bushleaves office.10 Various operations at the busiest crossingpoints on the U.S.- Mexican border have resulted in miles offencing being built through urban areas and into the surroundingdesert.

Since 1986, U.S. employers have been subject to fines forknowingly hiring undocumented workers. Interior enforcement ofthose laws has waxed and waned over the years. In the late 1990s,the Clinton administration raided hundreds of workplaces anddetained thousands of illegal workers, and the Bush administrationhas recently stepped up such raids again. There is no evidence thatmore vigorous interior enforcement has had any long-term effect onthe number of illegal workers entering the country, however.

In addition to being futile, the policy of interior enforcementalso threatens to draw resources away from policing employment atsuch "critical infrastructure" as airports and nuclear powerplants. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terroristattacks, the U.S. government rightly refocused its enforcementefforts away from chicken processing plants and discount stores toprotect the American homeland from people who intend to do usharm.

Perverse Consequences of "Enforcement Only"

Our enforcement-only efforts have failed to stem the flow ofillegal immigrants, but they have yielded three perverse andunintended consequences:

One, enforcement efforts in urban areas have diverted the inflowto more remote desert regions where the rate of interception hasactually dropped. Because of more sophisticated smugglingoperations through more remote regions, an individual attempting tosneak into the country is actually more likely to succeed todaythan when border enforcement was more lax in the early1990s.11

Two, immigrants entering the country illegally are more likelyto die in the attempt. The death rate of migrants crossing ourborder with Mexico tripled during the 1990s.12 Last year, more than 400 peopledied horrible deaths along the border from heat stroke anddehydration. The death toll during the past decade has reached3,500.13Unclaimed and unnamed bodies have accumulated in morgues andmakeshift refrigerator trucks along the border.

Three, illegal immigrants entering the country today stay longerthan they did before we began more aggressive enforcement at theborder. Because our enforcement-only efforts have raised the costand risk of crossing the border, those who successfully enter aremore inclined to stay. As a result, the average length of stay fora Mexican entering the United States has doubled, from 2.6 years inthe 1980s to more than 5 years now.14

Our current policy has perversely interrupted what had been anestablished circular pattern of migration from Mexico to the UnitedStates. From the mid-1960s to the mid- 1980s, during a time ofrelatively relaxed border enforcement, an estimated 80 percent ofMexicans who entered the United States illegally eventuallyreturned to Mexico.15 The federal government's ramped-up borderenforcement turned a temporary and circular flow into a permanentand growing settlement of illegal immigrants.

Ending Illegal Immigration

The most rational, cost-effective way to reduce illegalimmigration is comprehensive immigration reform, including asufficiently accommodating temporary worker program. Enforcing afundamentally flawed system is a recipe for frustration and wastedtax dollars. The law must be changed to reflect the fundamentalrealities of our nation's labor market and economy.

The key to successful reform will be the temporary workerprogram. Any real hope of reducing illegal immigration will dependon allowing a sufficient number of foreignborn workers to enter theUnited States legally to fill the growing gap at the lower rungs ofthe labor ladder. Without a workable temporary visa program,workers will continue to enter the United States illegally, withall the consequences that flow from an illegal workforce.

Skeptics of immigration reform point to the 1986 ImmigrationReform and Control Act as evidence that reform and legalizationcannot work. The 1986 act contained two major provisions: Itoffered "legal permanent resident" status (i.e., a "green card") to2.7 million illegal workers who had entered the country before 1982and to certain agricultural workers, and it significantly ramped upenforcement efforts, including making it illegal for the first timein U.S. history for employers to knowingly hire illegalworkers.

Notably missing from IRCA, however, was any provision to expandthe opportunity for low-skilled workers to enter the countrylegally. The pool of illegal workers was drained temporarily by theamnesty, but it soon began to fill up again as the economic pull ofthe U.S. labor market overwhelmed even the stepped-up enforcementefforts. IRCA failed to recognize the reality that low-skilledworkers play an important and legitimate role in the U.S.economy.

Large-scale illegal immigration will end only when America'simmigration system offers a legal alternative. If foreign-bornworkers are allowed to enter the country by a safe, orderly, andlegal path, the number choosing to enter illegally will dropsharply. When given the choice of paying a smuggler $2,000, riskingrobbery and death in the desert, and living a shadowy existence inthe underground U.S. economy, unable to leave and return freely tovisit home, or entering the United States through a legal port ofentry with legal documents, enjoying the full responsibility andprotection of the law, and the freedom to visit home without fearof being denied reentry, the large majority of potential entrantswill chose the legal path.

We know from experience that legal immigration, if allowed, willcrowd out illegal immigration. In the 1950s, the Braceroprogram allowed Mexican workers to enter the country temporarily,typically to work on farms in the Southwest. Early in that decade,illegal immigration was widespread because the program offered aninsufficient number of visas to meet the labor demands of a growingU.S. economy. Instead of merely redoubling efforts to enforce aflawed law, Congress dramatically increased the number of visas toaccommodate demand. The result: apprehensions of illegal entrantsat the border soon dropped by more than 95 percent.16 Back then, as we couldexpect now, foreign-born workers rationally chose the legal path toentry when it was available. When the Bracero program wasabolished in 1964, illegal immigration began an inexorable risethat continues to this day.

Issue Enough Visas to Meet U.S. Labor Demand

If the goal is to curb illegal immigration, any temporary workerprogram must offer a sufficient number of visas to meet thelegitimate demands of a growing U.S. labor market. The fact that400,000 to 500,000 foreignborn workers join the U.S. labor forceeach year indicates the general magnitude by which the demand forexceeds the supply of available, legal workers. A temporary workerprogram should offer at least that number of visas to allow therevealed demand of American employers to be met legally.

Capping the number of visas much below that level will beself-defeating. In May 2006, the Senate approved an amendmentoffered by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) that would have reduced theannual number of temporary visas to 200,000. That number wouldstill leave a large number of jobs in the United States withoutsufficient legal workers available to fill them. Asimilar cap thistime around will almost certainly guarantee a continued inflow ofillegal workers, defeating one of the central goals of immigrationreform.

Fears that the United States will be overwhelmed by a "flood" ofimmigrants if the temporary visa numbers are not tightly capped areunfounded. First, legalization does not necessarily mean moreimmigrants entering the United States. The most likely consequenceof a temporary worker program, as with expansion of theBracero program in the 1950s, would be the transformationof an illegal flow into a legal flow. The number of workersentering the country illegally has already been effectively"capped" by the demand in the U.S. labor market. If there are notjobs available, the workers will not come.

Second, a workable legalization program could be expected torestore the traditional circularity of Mexican migration to theUnited States, increasing the number of foreign- born workers wholeave the country after a temporary period of work. Manylow-skilled workers enter the U.S. labor market to solve temporaryproblems back home. They send remittances home to help pay medicalbills, upgrade housing, raise capital for a business, or smooth thefamily's income during an economic downturn. Once such goals areachieved, a large share of workers has chosen in the past to returnhome. On the basis of that experience, we could expect that anincrease in the number of workers entering the country afterlegalization would be largely or wholly offset by an increase inthe number leaving.

Third, any fears of "chain migration" can be addressed byrestricting the ability of immigrants to sponsor extended familymembers. One possible compromise would be to restrict or eliminatequotas for parents, adult siblings, and adult children of legalpermanent residents in the United States. The ability to sponsorrelatives could be limited to the "nuclear family" of spouses andminor children. The result would be to allow nuclear families toremain intact, while at the same time incrementally moving the U.S.immigration system from one that is primarily family based to onethat is employment based.

Fears about chain migration tend to be exaggerated. A Web Memopublished in May 2006 by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundationestimated that the original version of the Senate immigrationreform bill, S. 2611, would increase U.S. immigration by a whopping103 million during the next 20 years.17 But we know from our experience with the1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act that nothing like a floodof new immigration occurred.

As mentioned earlier, IRCA legalized 2.7 million undocumentedworkers. In the 20 years since IRCA was enacted (by coincidence thesame time frame as the Heriage study), the United States hasaccepted an average of 950,000 legal immigrants per year.Subtracting the baseline annual immigration of 600,000 in thedecade before IRCA and the 2.7 million workers directly legalizedby the IRCA amnesty, the annual increase since then amounts tofewer than 200,000 a year from pre-IRCA levels.18 That is an increase of aboutfour million over a 20-year period, and a significant share of thatincrease can be attributed to a 1990 immigration bill that raisedquotas for legal immigration. Obviously, the 1986 amnesty did notcause anything like a flood of chain migration. There is no reasonto believe that a comprehensive immigration bill would either.

A far more credible and objective study by the CongressionalBudget Office estimated that S. 2611 would increase the U.S.population by 7.8 million in the first 10 years. Although morechain migration would be expected in the second decade after theoriginal temporary workers achieve citizenship, the rate of 800,000immigrants per year is far more in line with recent history and theexpected need of the U.S. economy for new workers.19

An analysis by the Immigration Policy Center exposed a number offlaws in the Heritage study. The IPC found that the study doublecounted millions of new immigrants, first as guest workers, thenagain as new green-card holders. It substantially overestimated thenumber of illegal immigrants who would remain in the United Statespermanently as well as the number of parents of newly naturalizedcitizens who would immigrate, while ignoring millions of immigrantswho would later choose to leave.20

Visa Must Include Maximum Mobility, Minimal Red Tape

Any temporary worker program must also include complete workermobility. The best protection for legalized workers is the freedomto change jobs if pay or conditions are unsatisfactory. The fatalflaw of the Bracero program was the fact that it tied workers tooclosely to specific employers as a condition of the visa. That gaveemployers too much leverage and encouraged the kinds of abusesthat, when they became public, spurred Congress to shut the programdown. A portable visa that allows temporary workers to freely chosewhom they work for with a minimum of red tape would enhance theirbargaining power in the marketplace, improving their pay andworking conditions.

Worker mobility would also benefit the economy overall. It wouldallow workers to shift from one region of the country or sector ofthe economy to another in response to changing conditions. When thehousing sector turned down, temporary workers would be free toshift to the retail or hospitality sectors, for example.

Legalized workers with full freedom to change jobs would notneed a raft of new labor laws to protect their rights. True reformsmust avoid stifling labor regulations that discourage legal hiring.Union leaders are pressuring Democrats to require that temporaryworkers be paid "prevailing wages"-- that is, artificially high,union-level wages rather than market wages. That would be a recipefor failure, since many of the jobs filled by immigrant workers arelow-skilled, low-wage jobs that would simply not exist in the legaleconomy if unionlevel wages were mandated. Adding cumbersome laborrules will only perpetuate the underground labor market that hasbeen created by the current system.

Mandating that employers pay above-market wages for low-skilledworkers would only reduce growth and opportunities in the affectedsectors of the economy. Pay earned by low-skilled workers isdetermined and limited by their productivity. Wages paid tolow-skilled workers tend to be low because their productivity islow. If pay were to rise above productivity, prices would need torise, consumer demand would fall, and investment and employment inthe affected industries would slow or shrink. Ultimately, therewould be fewer jobs available in the affected sectors for native-and foreign-born workers alike.

Also unfounded are the claims that increased legal immigrationwill drive down wages and working conditions for a broad swath ofAmerican workers. Only a small and declining share of the Americanworkforce competes against lowskilled immigrant workers. Accordingto The New Americans, the authoritative 1997 National ResearchCouncil study of immigration, the only two groups of Americans whoface downward wage pressure from immigration are other recentimmigrants and native-born Americans without a high school diploma.The wage impact on the affected American workers is not large. "Theweight of the empirical evidence suggests that the impact ofimmigration on the wages of competing native-born workers issmall--possibly reducing them by only 1 or 2 percent," the authorsconcluded.21

More recent studies confirm the small impact of lowskilledimmigrants on competing American workers. In an August 2006 studyfor the National Bureau of Economic Research, economists GianmarcoOttaviano and Giovanni Peri found that immigration between 1990 and2004 lowered the real wages of the least educated U.S.-born workersby 1.1 to 2.2 percent, consistent with the NRC findings of a decadeearlier. The study found that for all other native-born Americanworkers, that is, those with at least a high school diploma, in thelong run immigration delivered real wage gains of between 0.7 and3.4 percent through lower prices and a more efficienteconomy.22

The key to raising wages for low-skilled American workers is toimprove their levels of education and training. Americans with ahigh school education and no college earned a median annual incomein 2005 of $25,829 compared to median annual earnings of $18,435for workers without a diploma. That represents a 40 percent wagepremium for finishing high school.23 Enabling and urging young Americans tograduate from high school will do far more to raise the earnings ofAmerican workers than will barring low-skilled immigrants from thecountry.

A Path to Legality for Workers Already Here

Finally, any comprehensive immigration reform worth its namemust offer a path to legal status for the millions of workersalready here without authorization. It would be an economic andhumanitarian disaster, as well as an administrative nightmare, toround up the 12 million people already here illegally and somehowdeport them to their home countries.

Any realistic immigration reform must recognize that manyundocumented workers have become valuable members of theirworkplaces and communities. Most have been in the country for fiveyears or more, and 40 percent have been here for more than adecade.24 Theircontributions to the U.S. economy should be recognized and weighedagainst their violation of U.S. immigration laws.

Long-standing critics of comprehensive immigration reform willbrand any legalization as an "amnesty." But amnesty means a generalpardon, in particular for political offenses. Legalization wouldnot be a pardon or amnesty because, according to the most seriousproposals put forward in Congress, undocumented workers would beexpected to pay fines and back taxes. They would undergo securitychecks and could even be required to leave the country brieflybefore being allowed to enter legally. They would not be grantedthe automatic permanent legal status that was a core feature ofIRCA but only temporary status to remain and work in the UnitedStates for a specified period of time.

Americans expect the law to be respected and obeyed and thosewho violate our laws to face the appropriate consequences. But atthe same time, laws must be reasonable and not fundamentally out ofstep with how millions of peaceful and hardworking people arrangetheir lives. That was the fatal flaw of the 55-mile-per-hour speedlimit in the 1970s and alcohol Prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s.Any punishment must also fit the infraction. In the case ofimmigration, several million foreign-born workers are guilty ofengaging in an activity that is not inherently criminal--crossingan international border to provide labor for willing employers andadditional income for their families back home.

Legalization would not necessarily mean automatic permanentstatus and a path to citizenship. Most workers who enter the UnitedStates illegally intend to stay here temporarily. If workersallowed in under a temporary worker program or formerlyundocumented workers who gain legal status want to become permanentresidents, they should be required to wait their turn behind thosewho have applied under existing law. At the same time, thegovernment should accelerate existing applications to reduce thebacklog and expand the number of green cards available toaccommodate the longterm labor needs of the growing U.S.economy.

Like the temporary worker program, the legalization of workersalready in the United States must be workable. The penalties andprocedures must not be so onerous that millions of illegal workersdecide to continue their underground existence in the U.S. labormarket. Immigration reform, to be successful, must balance thepolitical demand that illegal workers pay a penalty for breakingU.S. immigration law with the reality that our nation would bebetter off without a large pool of illegal workers in ourmidst.


The 110th Congress, in cooperation with President Bush, cansolve the vexing problem of illegal immigration now and into theforeseeable future. What is needed is comprehensive immigrationreform that recognizes the fundamental realities of the U.S.economy and labor force.

Comprehensive immigration reform that followed the guidelinesoutlined above could be expected to dramatically lower illegalentries into the United States and the tragic death toll at theborder. It would empower newly legalized workers to bargain moreeffectively in the workplace for better wages and workingconditions, allowing those workers to enjoy the full protectionsand responsibilities of the law. It would free the HomelandSecurity Department to focus its resources on identifying andapprehending terrorists and criminals rather than waste billions oftax dollars chasing after peaceful, hardworking people seekingbetter jobs.

Comprehensive reform would provide a predictable, legal, andmodestly growing labor force that would, in turn, allow our marketeconomy to produce a wider and more affordable array of goods andservices for American households, raising living standards for thelarge majority of American workers. It would reaffirm our ideals asa nation that has traditionally welcomed immigrants who come hereto work hard and build better lives for themselves and theirfamilies.

1 Jeffrey S.Passel, "Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized MigrantPopulation in the U.S.: Estimates Based on the March 2005 CurrentPopulation Survey," Pew Hispanic Center, March 7, 2006,

2 For U.S.population figures, see Statistical Abstract of the UnitedStates: 2007 (Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006), Tables 1and 2; for legal immigration numbers, see 2005 Yearbook ofImmigration Statistics (Washington: Office of ImmigrationStatistics, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2006), Table 1;for illegal immigration figures, see Jeffrey Passel, "Rise, Peakand Decline: Trends in U.S. Immigration 1992-2004," Pew HispanicCenter, September 27, 2005.

3 U.S. CensusBureau,

4 U.S. CensusBureau, Population Estimates Program,

5 U.S. CensusBureau, Components of Population Change,

6 Daniel E.Hecker, "Occupational Employment Projections to 2014" MonthlyLabor Review (U.S. Department of Labor), November 2005, Table3, p. 77.

7 Mitra Toossi,"Labor Force Projections to 2014: Retiring Boomers," MonthlyLabor Review, November 2005, p. 42.

8 "EconomicGrowth and Immigration: Bridging the Demographic Divide,"Immigration Policy Center, November 2005, p. 17.

9 CarlosGutierrez, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Testimony before the U.S.Senate Committee on the Judiciary, February 28, 2007.

10 SeeDouglas S. Massey, "Backfire at the Border: Why Enforcement withoutLegalization Cannot Stop Illegal Immigration," Cato Trade PolicyAnalysis no. 29, June 13, 2005, p. 7; and Michael Chertoff, U.S.Secretary of Homeland Security, Testimony before the U.S. SenateCommittee on the Judiciary, February 28, 2007.

11 Massey, p.6.

12 Ibid.

13 EduardoMontes, "Migrant Deaths Down Slightly along Border in '06 FiscalYear," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 3, 2006.

14 Douglas S.Massey, Jorge Durand, and Nolan J. Malone, Beyond Smoke andMirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Era of Economic Integration(New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2002), p. 131.

15 Ibid., p.71.

16 StuartAnderson, "The Impact of Agricultural Guest Worker Programs onIllegal Immigration," National Foundation for American Policy,November 2003.

17 RobertRector, "Senate Immigration Bill Would Allow 100 Million New LegalImmigrants over the Next Twenty Years," Heritage Foundation WebMemo no. 1076, May 15, 2006.

18Immigration Statistics Yearbook 2005(Washington: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2006), Table1.

19Congressional Budget Office, "CBO Cost Estimate for S. 2611:Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006," May 16, 2006, Table2, p. 4.

20"Immigration Scare-Tactics: Exaggerated Estimates of NewImmigration under S. 2611 Based on Questionable Statistics andFaulty Assumptions," Immigration Policy Brief, Immigration PolicyCenter, May 2006.

21 James P.Smith and Barry Edmonston, eds., The New Americans: Economic,Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration (Washington:National Academies Press, 1997), p. 220.

22 GianmarcoOttaviano and Giovanni Peri, "Rethinking the Effects of Immigrationon Wages," National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper no.12497, August 2006, p. 4.

23 U.S.Census Bureau, 2005 American Community Survey, Table S. 2001,available at

24 Passel,"Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized Migrant Population inthe U.S."