This week sees a visit which will highlight the complexities of the immigration issue that was at the heart of Donald Trump’s victorious presidential campaign. During the campaign rallies e constantly referred to the “bad” Mexicans, but they are not the sole source of illegal migration in the country.


As reported by the BBS this week Enda Kenny, the Republic of Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) is on an official visit to the United States. One of the matters that he wants to discuss with President #Donald Trump is the future of the thousands of Irish who are illegally working in the United States.

In the week of Saint Patrick’s Day this report highlights a fact that has been forgotten in the bluster and rhetoric about the Mexican migrants in the United States. There are large numbers of foreign citizens working illegally in the country and they do not come through the southern border, but through airports on tourist visas which they then overstay after they find work.

For fear of being deported these migrants live precarious lives and do little to attract the attention of the authorities. This has changed with the recent increased funding and activities of ICE which has grabbed headlines in many countries.

The precise numbers of migrants working illegally in the country will never be known, but they would be from many countries, yet despite popular opinion the effects of Illegal Immigration are in fact not negative on the economy of the United States.

Taxes and skills

The first issue involving illegal migrants is of course that of lower pay rates, any wide spread removal of illegal migrants from the country will immediate increases in production costs and not only in the rural sector. This will then of course have an effect on the cost of living for the population as a whole.

Yet there is another aspect of illegal migration that is often deliberately overlooked and it too shows that these migrants do more than just work for cheap hourly rates. As reported in a number of sources, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy has shown that illegal migrants pay higher tax rates than many members of the population.

According to this research illegally migrants pay every year nearly $12 billion in income and other forms of taxes. In addition, if these migrants were to have their residency issues resolved then this figure would increase by at least a further $3billion per year.

Combined with the lower production costs these figures show that the effects of the presence of illegal migrants are actually beneficial to the economy and not damaging.

Although precise figures of the numbers of such migrants are difficult to assess, according to the Pew Research Center there are over 8 million illegal migrants in the country carrying out a wide range of activities from simple labour to skilled professions in the building industry, sales and even in other highly skilled professions.

These are jobs where there may not be replacements readily available if the migrants were to be deported.

Added to this is the fact that the serious crime rates of these migrants is lower than the national average and thus they are not a danger to the population.

The issue of illegal migration may seem to be black and white, but is much more complex than some, beginning in the Oval Office, try to portray. The forced removal of millions is not a true solution, new illegal immigrants would only arrive to replace the deportees. The solution would be simple but what is lacking is the political will to seek it.