Sep 12

Colorado and Immigration Reform

There has been much talk about the benefits of immigration reform at a national level, but how will it affect Colorado? As usual, the answer depends on whom you ask and course of action the state takes.

Many would prefer no change at all, and want to see all undocumented aliens deported. It’s questionable whether this is a viable solution to the issue. There may be debate as to how much undocumented immigrants add to the economy and culture, but there is no real debate that they form an important part of the society.

Another course of action would be allowing the current system to exist. According to this line of reasoning, we already know that immigrants add the economy (though many debate as to how much), so we can be fairly sure that we would not lose a lot; but it’s not certain that anything could be gained by immigration reform. If immigrants were legalized, so the argument goes, they would immediately become taxpayers and would have to be paid minimum wage, but this would cut off the economic sectors that need people who will do difficult jobs for less than a legal resident.

The final course of action is complete immigration reform, with more or less all undocumented immigrants being granted residence. This would of course bring in much needed tax dollars.

There are other less immediate factors involved. For instance, it’s a demographic fact that native born citizens are not having enough children to pay for the social services that are expected to inundate the system over the next 3 decades. Immigration, no matter which way the political winds blow, may be the only answer. If we understand that immigration reform is essentially an economic issue, it could make it more clear to discuss.