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Op-Ed Letter Fact-Checking the Federation for American Immigration Reform

Alex Constantine - June 21, 2010

Let Fairness, Not Questionable Data, Drive Debate

Boston Globe | June 21, 2010

hh31a1 - Op-Ed LetterIN HIS June 16 op-ed “Why the Arizona immigration law makes sense here too,’’ Michael Stopa cites a Federation for American Immigration Reform study finding that illegal immigrants cost the state of Arizona $2.7 billion in 2009. However, a 2008 University of Arizona study estimated these costs to be about $1.4 billion, and noted, more importantly, that they were offset by revenue gains of about $2.4 billion, yielding a surplus of more than $900 million. These revenue gains from immigrants include economic consumption as well as taxes — yes, illegal immigrants pay taxes, both state and federal.

It is not surprising that the Federation for American Immigration Reform would arrive at its findings. It has been a strident anti-immigration voice for more than three decades, and has received funding from a pro-eugenics group, the Pioneer Fund.

I like to think that what makes sense in Massachusetts is considered debate on immigration that keeps in mind our traditions of fairness and democracy. What I hope to see in November is a rejection of the kind of “sense’’ based on the fear tactics and xenophobia of Stopa’s op-ed.

Fernando Salazar


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