What The New Immigration Move Means For The Texas Economy?

By Alex Gonzalez

Here are some facts about the new Immigration Executive Order that will have [real] impact in the state’s economy.

In Texas, alone 54% of the estimated 1.6 million “undocumented” workers in the state will qualify for this reprieve since most have been in the state for a long time, and most likely have businesses and family ties.

The estimated population of undocumented workers in the labor force in the state is about 10 percent, according the new Pew Center and the Texas Comptroller. As a result, any legalization of these workers will sure spur a stronger economic boom in the state since, according the Controller’s Office, which  funded an in-depth analysis, undocumented immigrants have employment and spending patterns consistent with native Hispanics in Texas with similar age and gender.

What does this means for the economy of the state? About 1 million of workers will now have access to a Social Security card and Driver Licenses, essential documents that will allow them to have a credit lines, home and car loans and more opportunities to invest “legally.”

Other studies by CBO have showed that an immigration bill will generate about 220,000 jobs in the state in industries such construction, insurance, retail, and services. All these industries are dominated by mostly immigrant groups, or first generation of Hispanic Texans. Also, these workers are the ones that will be in charge of revamping the state’s infrastructure, infrastructure projects that are essential to the state’s competitive edge. Similar study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas underscores the need of the state to assimilate these immigrant workers to have a competitive labor pool in the state.

Cons-Jobs54% of 1.6 million will suggest that least 100,000 new jobs could generated in Texas by this “executive” order.   Read Texas report here for Jobs.

However, despite the obvious economic boom for the state due to this “executive order,” the political debate on it is still toxic, and will be loaded with “hot” rhetorical arguments” to provide for red meat to the tea party base due to a strong unpopularity for president Obama; also some group like Heritage Foundation that have made its main objective to oppose any immigration reform, most likely will be involved in any effort to push back this “order,” as it was the case during the Republican Convention in Fort Worth where the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) passed a platform with “harsh” rhetoric.

Therefore,  while int is essentially that we still be pushing for compressive bill in Congress, it is also important for the businesses community to get behind this “order” to possibly get Republicans in Congress to craft and pass a comprehensive immigration bill.

It is imperative that the business community in Texas to work together  for policies that supply a real legal labor demand so businesses don’t have to operate in a clandestine market anymore. This was the goal of “Texas Solution” that all businesses in Texas ardently supported.

meAlex Gonzalez  is a political Analyst and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote! comments to vote@latinosreadytovote.com




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