Um Immigration Study Offers Positive Side Of Economic Impacts
By Victor Cruz
UM immigration study offers positive side of economic impactsBy Victor Cruz
A University of Miami immigration study, to be released in six weeks, will show that immigrants in Florida and Miami-Dade County contribute about as much economically as they take.
An executive summary of the study was given by UM professor Thomas Boswell during an immigration committee meeting at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s 2001 goals conference.
"The study reflects pretty well on immigrants," Dr. Boswell said. "If anything, it shows that immigrants are hardworking people who do not come here to live on welfare, who pay taxes and who eventually catch up socio-economically to non-immigrants."
The study, conducted with help from the University of Florida Bureau of Economic & Business Research and Roosevelt University, was part of a Greater Miami Chamber effort to get some "hard facts" in terms of the socio-economic character of immigration in Miami and Florida, Dr. Boswell said.
While many immigration studies have been conducted in the past, he said this is the first socio-economic study of immigration in South Florida and Miami-Dade.
"It’s going to better inform the debate about immigration and the benefits or costs of it," Dr. Boswell said, "if it’s a good thing or a bad thing or is something we should cut back on or increase due to a demand for labor."
Divided into eight chapters, and drawing from US Census Bureau surveys from 1996-999, the report sets out to answer six questions:
nWhy immigration has become controversial.
nHow it has affected population growth and ethnic change.
nHow immigrants compare socio-economically to the US-born population.
nAre immigrants assimilating?
nDo immigrants pay their fair share of taxes?
nDo they use welfare and educational services disproportionately?
"Basically, Dr. Bowsell said, immigrants "use welfare at the same rate as the rest of the population. Once they’ve been here, they catch up in about 10 or 15 years."
Mr. Boswell said the study would show. "And it means that some of the old statements as to their not paying taxes and costing more in welfare are myths."
The immigration committee of the chamber chaired by Gilbert Lee Sandler, senior partner of Sandler Travis & Rosenberg, also produced five goals for the year during the meeting:
nSupport efforts to integrate immigrants into the mainstream economy.
nTrack developments in immigration law.
nPublish and communicate the immigration study.
nTarget immigration issues related directly to business.
nOrganize a business-centered immigration workshop.