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October 30, 2007

Spitzer waffles on driver licenses for illegal immigrants

The New York Times in an editorial today says that New York Governor Sptizer, who announced plans to issue drivers licenses to qualified illegal immigrants, has retreated, apparently in response to pressure from the Department of Homeland Security. The new plan is very complicated, providing some ID for illegal immigrants but in an attention grabbing way, as the editorial describes:

Governor Spitzer Retreats

Gov. Eliot Spitzer has confronted the most intense public criticism of his political career — and caved. Not so long ago, Mr. Spitzer was doing the right and brave thing, planning to offer driver’s licenses to qualified but undocumented immigrants. The plan was inherently fair and would have made the state and its roads safer. Unfortunately, it also made Mr. Spitzer the target of some very nasty rhetoric from his political opponents, while his allies offered mostly weak-kneed support.

So, on Saturday, Mr. Spitzer left the field. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and he hastily announced a new plan, a revised three-tiered licensing system for New York’s drivers. Not all the details are available, but it looks like bad government policy and a bureaucratic nightmare in the making. Unwieldy and probably unworkable, it manages to offend a whole segment of pro-immigration New Yorkers, some of the few political friends Mr. Spitzer has left.

As outlined, the new agreement between New York and Washington would create three licenses. One would comply with the still-undecided federal standards for the Real ID Act, and another would be for those who want to go to Canada without using a passport. The third license would not be valid as identification to board airplanes or enter federal buildings.

It is license No. 3 — the cheapest and easiest to get — that would be offered to all New York residents, including the undocumented. The Spitzer people say that they would not share information about the immigration status of any of these third-tier drivers. But as immigrant advocates have already pointed out, who else would really want this license except those who cannot qualify for anything else? As other states have learned, a separate but unequal license for immigrants does not work. Undocumented workers would not come out of the shadows to apply for a driving permit that they believe would make them a target for any official on a crusade against illegal immigrants.

The new Spitzer licensing proposal also raises another serious concern. The governor could be turning his constituents into the nation’s guinea pigs for the controversial Real ID, a kind of national identification card. Passed in 2005, the Real ID law offers little money to states that are being asked to come up with a super-secure identification card by 2013. Already, a number of states have declared they will not comply with the act — citing expense or privacy concerns. Some have said that a “gold standard” security card would brand those who don’t have it as suspicious. Others question what happens when somebody creates a fraudulent Real ID.

Governor Spitzer’s pivot from his difficult stand on driver’s licenses is a disappointment. The way he swiftly made, and then unmade, this decision is unsettling. It revives questions about whether this rookie governor seeks enough wise counsel and then listens to it. It leaves us wondering whether Mr. Spitzer has the willpower to remain focused on his better plans and better instincts in the future.

October 29, 2007

Illegal immigration and Dem-Rep competition

The Washington Post last week ran an article on how illegal immigration has become a political football. “GOP Finds Hot Button in Illegal Immigration” focused on a special election for Congress in the Lowell, MA, area of Massachusetts – typically very Democratic. The race was won (after the article was printed) very narrowly by the Democratic candidate, despite her being 10 ahead only a few days before the election. According to the article, “On immigration, the Republicans hold a 49 to 44 percent lead.” Elsewhere last week, Republican senators blocked the passage of the Dream Act, which would permit children of illegal immigrants who themselves are illegal residents from gaining citizenship through military service. A Senate procedural vote requiring 60 yes votes ended 52 yes, 44 no. The military today provides for accelerated citizenship to legal residents; the Dream Act would have opened doors to the illegal population.

The article in full, October 23 07

When Republican Jim Ogonowski launched his long-shot bid for Congress, he prepared for an upbeat campaign in his Democratic, working-class district of Massachusetts: affable hay farmer, former Air Force lieutenant colonel, and brother of an American Airlines pilot whose hijacked plane slammed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

But by last month, although opinion polling showed that he was well liked, he was still running 10 points behind Democrat Niki Tsongas with just weeks to go before a special election. The campaign needed a way to go beyond biography, to persuade Northern Massachusetts to vote Republican. They found it in illegal immigration.

On Tuesday, Ogonowski still fell short, but Tsongas's 51 to 45 percent victory was a shocker in a district where both John F. Kerry and Al Gore took 57 percent of the vote, and where liberal Democratic Rep. Martin T. Meehan served comfortably for eight terms. The underwhelming victory of the wife of deceased former senator Paul Tsongas has rekindled Democratic concerns about an immigration issue they had hoped had been put to rest.

"This issue has real implications for the country. It captures all the American people's anger and frustration not only with immigration, but with the economy," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and an architect of the Democratic congressional victories of 2006. "It's self-evident. This is a big problem."

Republicans, sensing a major vulnerability, have been hammering Democrats, forcing Congress to face the question of illegal immigration on every bill they can find, from agriculture spending and housing assistance to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

House Democrats are so concerned that they have resumed talks on a new legislative push, even though the collapse of an immigration deal in the Senate this spring has left virtually no chance that a final bill can be passed in this Congress.

But even in the early stages of this renewed effort, negotiations have only underscored the party's problems. Some Democratic leaders want what they call a "mini bill," emphasizing border control, penalties on firms that employ illegal immigrants and stronger efforts to deny illegal immigrants government benefits. But Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.), the point man on the bill, said he will never accept a measure that does not include a pathway to citizenship for the 12 million undocumented workers in the country.

"I think the Democrats are on the wrong side of this issue, and if they continue down this path, they are going to lose a lot of seats," said Matt Wylie, a strategist for the Ogonowski campaign.

The issue has shifted since concerns about illegal immigrants triggered angry calls for border fences and deportation two years ago. Now, voter anger appears to revolve around the belief that illegal immigrants are unfairly consuming government benefits, a fear that stems more from economic uncertainty than culture clashes, Democratic and Republican pollsters say.

Those concerns are not everywhere. But they are glaring in some of the white, working-class districts in Kansas, Indiana, North Carolina and New Hampshire that gave the Democrats control of the House last year. And they were on clear display in Lowell, Mass.

"Immigration played into the economic issue," said Francis Talty, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell who followed the Tsongas-Ogonowski contest. "Do you want illegal immigrants to get in-state [university] tuition? Do you want them to get driver's licenses? Do you want their children to get benefits under SCHIP? It was the benefit side that has real resonance, not the deportation thing."

A new national poll for National Public Radio, conducted by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, and the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies, found that voters are more likely to side with Democrats than Republicans on war, taxes and spending, the economy, health care and health insurance for children, often by wide margins. On immigration, the Republicans hold a 49 to 44 percent lead.

But even that might be deceptively tight, said Glen Bolger, a partner with Public Opinion Strategies. In the poll, the GOP position was framed as getting control of the border, requiring illegal immigrants to reenter the country legally, stopping illegal immigrants from getting government benefits and sending illegal immigrants who are criminals packing. The Democratic position was, "It is impractical to expel 12 million people, but we need tougher controls at the borders, tougher penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants and we should bar illegal immigrants from getting most government benefits, while allowing the law-abiding immigrants to get on a long path to citizenship."

That Democratic message is much tougher than the one most voters are hearing, Bolger argued. "They're actually in worse shape than they think they are," he said.

Dustin Olson, Ogonowski's campaign manager, said the candidate did not intend to make government benefits for illegal immigrants a centerpiece of the campaign, but it came up unbidden, again and again.

Internal polling found that Ogonowski's tough stance was winning 60 percent to 30 percent over the positions articulated by Tsongas, said Rob Autry, another Public Opinion Strategies partner who served as Ogonowski's pollster. Ogonowski's position on taxes had a narrower, 13 percentage point lead. Every other issue "was dicey," he said.

Then, just two days before Tuesday's balloting, Tsongas said illegal immigrants should each be allowed to get a driver's license. The final radio ad of the Ogonowski insurgency intoned, "And now for something truly incredible. You already know Niki Tsongas supports amnesty for illegal immigrants, but today we learned Niki Tsongas would go even further. Tsongas told the Boston Herald she wants to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants."

John Walsh, chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, said the final vote proved the limits of the immigration message. The district may be less Democratic than the presidential numbers make it appear, he cautioned. Republican gubernatorial candidates have carried it handily since 1990, until Deval L. Patrick, the current Democratic governor, won it with 51 percent of the vote, the same percentage Tsongas took.

If Ogonowski's internal polling showed him trailing by 10 points in September, his immigration blitz made up only five points, he said.

But in districts where Democrats do not have five points to give, those numbers loom large. "For the American people, and therefore all of us, it's emerged as the third rail of American politics," Emanuel said. "And anyone who doesn't realize that isn't with the American people."

October 15, 2007

Don’t get a work injury if you live in Arizona…

…and are an illegal immigrant. It can also be very costly to the employer. Apparently businesses are penalized now, in fact can be put out of business, if they hire illegal immigrants, but workers comp benefits still apply to these workers. Some in the legislature aim to strip workers comp benefits from illegal workers.

Illegal immigrants who have jobs in Arizona are covered under the state's workers' compensation system, and businesses want it to stay that way -- despite a new state law that can put them out of business for hiring undocumented workers.

This from the Phoenix Business Journal….

If illegal labor were excluded from the state's workers' comp umbrella, that could leave injured migrant workers without care and create a morass of legal troubles for businesses that unlawfully employ illegal immigrants.

"It definitely opens up an entire can of worms, and employers are definitely aware of that right now," said Abbe Goncharsky, an employment attorney with the Phoenix law office of Lewis and Roca LLP.

There were efforts this year at the state Legislature to exclude illegal immigrants from workers' comp benefits, and the contentious issue is expected to come up again in 2008

Bring back AgJobs? 500,000 workers may be affected

One of the casualties of the immigration bill debacle last summer was the failure to pass a specially crafted provision to cover farm workers. According to the New York Times, the farm industry wants Washington to relax worker protections for the exiting H-2A visa program, that covers only 50,000 immigrant workers, compared to the well over 500,000 illegal workers said to be employed in farm work. The Times wants the AgJob provision of the immigration bill passed.

Here is a description of AgJobs’s impact on illegal farm workers:

AgJOBS provides a one-time program under which farm workers who can demonstrate a
substantial past commitment to agricultural work in the U.S. can, by meeting specific future work requirements over a period of 3 to 6 years, qualify for adjustment to permanent resident status. It is estimated that about 500,000 farm workers will be eligible under the program. This adjustment of status program will enable full-time, permanent farm workers – the most valuable workers on many farms – whose jobs are not eligible for the H-2A program, to earn legal status. It will also provide a transition period during which employers not now using the H-2A program can construct housing.

The TImes' editorial includes:

The main legal route for agricultural guest workers — the H-2A visa program — has serious problems that need fixing. But the government, which has solicited recommendations from farm groups on how to streamline the program, must not let industry lobbyists dictate the changes. Doing so could erode an already thin layer of protections for workers who do some of the country’s most punishing, backbreaking jobs.

Farm lobbyists have sent the administration a wish list of regulatory and administrative changes that they say will lift unduly cumbersome barriers to participating in and expanding the H-2A program. That program now hires about 50,000 people a year, about 2 percent of the agricultural work force. But the barriers are there for good reasons. They require farmers to give guest workers free housing and decent wages, and to take certain steps — like running newspaper ads — to prove they have tried to hire Americans first. The industry wants to relax those hiring requirements, to charge workers for housing, to pay them less and to widen the range of jobs they do to include poultry processing and meatpacking.

Labor advocates who have spent years fighting for basic protections for farmworkers believe, with good reason, that the industry is looking to exploit the immigration crisis. There is a better way.

Congress should pass a bill known as AgJobs, a bipartisan measure with broad support in the farm industry and among farmworker organizations. It streamlines the H-2A program, but also includes a path to earned citizenship for farmworkers, an important step to curb exploitation in an industry overwhelmingly made up of easily fired, easily abused undocumented workers. Its carefully negotiated compromises are just the kind of approach to immigration reform the country needs — not the heavy-handed half-measures that make up the current shambles of federal policy.

October 12, 2007

Effort to Curb Illegal Workers' Hiring Blocked

Per the Washington Post, “A federal judge barred the Bush administration yesterday from launching a planned crackdown on U.S. companies that employ illegal immigrants, warning of its potentially "staggering" impact on law-abiding workers and companies.” The Dept of Homeland Security was about to issue “no match” letters to 140,000 employers, about upwards of 8.7 million no matches.

The Post reports it as a “firm rebuke.” Why, well, as I have posted before, it appears than
One third of mismatches turn out to be perfectly harmless. The administration’s program would have forced these American citizens to jump through hoops to prove they are citizens, and that could provoke suits by mishandled employees against their employers.

A New York Times editorial says that this “reckless” plan is part of “a disastrously one-sided immigration strategy — pulling out one harsh enforcement tool after another without having repaired the broken system. We have already seen the results of runaway enforcement on the agricultural industry — a shortage of workers leading to rotting crops and farmers relocating south of the border. The trouble with crackdowns, like the foolish one involving “no-match” letters, is that they cause oceans of pain and havoc — not just for undocumented immigrants, but also for legal residents and the economy — without actually solving anything.”

The Post’s article:

In a firm rebuke of the White House, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer of San Francisco granted a preliminary injunction against the president's plan to press employers to fire as many as 8.7 million workers with suspect Social Security numbers, starting this fall.

President Bush made the effort the centerpiece of a re-energized enforcement drive against illegal immigration in August after the Senate rejected his proposal to overhaul immigration laws. But the court ruling -- sought by major American labor, business and farm organizations -- highlighted the chasm that the issue has opened between the Republican Party and its traditional business allies.

The case also called attention to the gulf between Washington rhetoric about the need to curtail illegal immigration and the economic reality that many U.S. employers rely on illegal labor, as well as to the government's inability for nearly three decades to develop adequate tools for identifying undocumented workers.

In a 22-page ruling, Breyer said the plaintiffs -- an unusual coalition that included the AFL-CIO, the American Civil Liberties Union and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- had raised serious questions about the legality of the administration's plan to mail Social Security "no-match" letters to 140,000 U.S. employers.

"There can be no doubt that the effects of the rule's implementation will be severe," Breyer wrote, resulting in "irreparable harm to innocent workers and employers."

The government letters are intended to warn employers for the first time that they must resolve questions about their employees' identities or fire them within 90 days. If they do not, employers could face "stiff penalties," including fines and even criminal prosecution, for violating a federal law that bars knowingly employing illegal workers, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said when he announced the plan Aug. 10.

The plaintiffs convinced the judge that the Social Security Administration database includes so many errors -- incorporated in the records of about 9.5 million people in 2003 alone -- that its use in firings would unfairly discriminate against tens of thousands of legal workers, including native-born and naturalized U.S. citizens, and cause major workforce disruptions that would burden companies.

"The government's proposal to disseminate no-match letters affecting more than eight million workers will, under the mandated time line, result in the termination of employment to lawfully employed workers," the judge wrote. "Moreover the threat of criminal prosecution . . . reflects a major change in DHS policy."

Breyer also said that the government may have ignored a 1980 law, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, that requires it to weigh the cost of imposing new regulations that would significantly burden small-business owners. Randel K. Johnson, a vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, said the ruling shows that "the government cannot do anything it wants simply in the name of enforcement. They've got to be careful about building their record and complying with the law."

In a statement, AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney said: "This is a significant step towards overturning this unlawful rule, which would give employers an even stronger way to keep workers from freely forming unions. . . . More than 70% of SSA discrepancies refer to U.S. citizens."

Chertoff expressed disappointment with the decision and said the administration will continue to aggressively enforce immigration laws while considering an appeal, which plaintiffs' attorneys said could take at least nine months.

"Today's ruling is yet another reminder of why we need Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform," Chertoff said. "The American people have been loud and clear about their desire to see our nation's immigration laws enforced."

Several analysts said the Bush administration's plan appeared to be designed to push business interests back into the debate by demonstrating that the failure of legislative reform efforts would carry costs, and to reassure conservative lawmakers who oppose illegal immigration that the White House is able and willing to crack down on offenders.

Doris Meissner, former commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and now a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute in Washington, said the ruling "shows how ineffective the current laws are."

"It reinforces the opinion that many of us hold that until you have a better legal framework -- which requires new legislation -- we're stuck very much with the status quo," Meissner said.

In a statement, Rep. Brian P. Bilbray (R-Calif.), an opponent of Bush's approach who won election to the House last year on the issue, criticized the court. "What part of 'illegal' does Judge Breyer not understand?" he said. "At a time when the federal government is finally trying to enforce current immigration law, we cannot have activist judges stand in the way of doing what is right."

The scope of the problem is uncontested. A three-year government audit ending in 2001 found "widespread" misuse of Social Security numbers by illegal immigrants, who often present fake or fraudulent documents to obtain jobs. Overall, 7.2 million illegal immigrants account for at least 10 percent of low-skilled U.S. workers and 5 percent of the total U.S. workforce, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of 2005 census data.

Illegal immigrants make up even greater portions of workers in specific industries, including 24 percent in farming, 17 percent in cleaning, 14 percent in construction and 12 percent in food preparation. But the government's record in developing tools to screen such workers is spotty, largely because of successful efforts by employers, labor unions and civil rights groups to water them down.

A government program to verify the validity of new hires' Social Security numbers, proposed in concept in 1981 and launched in 1996, remains voluntary and covers only about 23,000 of 8 million U.S. employers. It is also hampered by a high false-alarm rate and the limited ability to detect identity theft involving stolen or fraudulent numbers. Between June 2004 and May 2006, it erroneously rejected 11 percent of foreign-born U.S. citizens and 1.3 percent of authorized foreign-born noncitizens, according to a report provided to Congress.

In protest, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) signed legislation in August that bars companies in his state from participating in the program until it is 99 percent accurate.

The federal government has mailed Social Security no-match letters to employers since 1994, but such notices were generally silent about workers' immigration status and employers did not face liability. In June 2006, the Department of Homeland Security proposed using the letters to combat immigration fraud involving existing employees, and it finalized its plans this summer. The AFL-CIO and the ACLU filed suit to halt the Sept. 4 start of the mailings, and they were joined by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the trade associations for the agriculture, restaurant and construction industries.

On Aug. 31, U.S. District Judge Maxine M. Chesney issued a temporary restraining order pending an Oct. 1 hearing before Breyer, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1997 and is the sister of Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

NY Times editorial:

A Crackdown on Hold

Published: October 12, 2007

A federal judge has halted a reckless plan by the Bush administration to use Social Security records for immigration enforcement. This is good news, not just for the American economy, which would have been crippled by the attempt to force millions of undocumented workers off the books, but also for the untold numbers of innocent citizens and legal residents who also would have been victims of the purge.

The judge, Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California, ruled that the Department of Homeland Security could not enforce a new rule requiring employers to fire workers if their Social Security numbers could not be verified within 90 days. The assumption behind the rule was that workers whose numbers did not match the Social Security Administration’s database were illegal immigrants using fake or stolen identities.

Judge Breyer recognized that assumption as deeply flawed and the new rule as an unlawfully crude enforcement tool. The Social Security database is riddled with errors not related to immigration status. Many of the “no-match” letters — which call attention to database discrepancies — involve legal residents.

“There is a strong likelihood that employers may simply fire employees who are unable to resolve the discrepancy within 90 days,” the judge wrote, even if the problem was caused by data-entry mistakes, misspellings or name changes. He warned that the rule would cause “irreparable harm to innocent workers and employers.” The A.F.L.-C.I.O, a party to the lawsuit that led to the ruling, had estimated that about 600,000 of its members could receive the letters and be vulnerable to firing.

Judge Breyer also scolded the administration for imposing a policy change with “massive ramifications” for employers without a legal explanation or a required survey of the costs and impact to small businesses.

It is not the case — though infuriated hard-liners will insist otherwise — that millions of undocumented workers are now being let off the hook by a soft-headed judge. If the no-match crackdown had proceeded, many workers without papers would still have found jobs in the underground economy, perhaps worse ones or with better-forged papers. Identity theft would have risen.

The shadow economy would have adapted, as always. The world of on-the-books employment would have suffered greatly.

The federal government has embarked on a disastrously one-sided immigration strategy — pulling out one harsh enforcement tool after another without having repaired the broken system. We have already seen the results of runaway enforcement on the agricultural industry — a shortage of workers leading to rotting crops and farmers relocating south of the border. The trouble with crackdowns, like the foolish one involving “no-match” letters, is that they cause oceans of pain and havoc — not just for undocumented immigrants, but also for legal residents and the economy — without actu

October 4, 2007

U.S. Immigrant worker figures in a nutshell

Drawn from the archives on www.workingimmigrants.com....

First, the 30,000 foot overview. The U.S. is premier among major countries in scale of immigrant activity. Some 37.5 million residents, or 12%, were born outside the country. World wide there are 3% of the world population living in a country other than their birth country. Almost one in five residents speak a language other than English at home. The number of cities in world with at least one million foreign born residents is 20. Eight of these are in the United States: Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC. In contrast number of these cities in India and China is zero.

Second, the demand for immigrant labor in the United States. Let’s look at manual jobs.
MIT professor David Autor projects that mental and manual jobs involving a level of irregularity in decision making and face to face servicing are growing. This concept explains why some manual jobs are expected to grow in the future along with the growth of high end mental jobs. Low skilled immigrant labor fills many of these manual jobs. About a quarter of residential construction workers and landscaping workers are undocumented workers alone; on top of that one needs to add documented immigrant workers.

Let’s look at skilled jobs. Fully one half of computer systems engineering jobs in America are filled by foreign born workers. Indians alone own 50% of all economy hotels in the U.S. Ten percent of doctors are foreign born, of these close to half are from India. There are 40,000 Indian physicians in the U.S, or about 4% of all doctors. The nursing profession is 11% foreign born.

Some other economies export a huge share of their workforce overseas and to the U.S. and this reflects major development in the American economy resulting in massive demand for low skilled labor. Sixteen percent of the Mexican workforce is working in the U.S. In the 1980s, Hispanic work immigration (documented and undocumented) was concentrated in the agricultural sector. In the 1990s, the concentration was in meat processing, as American firms located often large plants in rural areas (Kansas, hogs, North Carolina, chickens, etc). During this decade labor demand turned urban including residential construction.

We turn to how foreign workers get into the U.S. The number of persons (adults, children, retirees) formally admitted into the U.S. each year for permanent residence (which can lead to citizenship) is roughly about 1 million. Perhaps 400,000 of these new resident are working age adults.

There are in addition temporary work permits. The number of new H-1B temporary professional workers formally admitted each year (i.e. Bill Gate's programmers) is about 95,000 officially but due to Byzantine rules probably is more. The number of new H-2A temporary agricultural workers (special agricultural workers) admitted each year is about 200,000. And about 50,000 workers are admitted each year only a plethora of other work permit programs, ranging from university professors to star athletes. All told, these documented new workers each year are perhaps 750,000.

Undocumented worker growth is about 350,000 a year, mostly from Latin America but also from eastern Europe and elsewhere. Compare this with the roughly 750,000 undocumented workers which arrive. Now, many of these people may and do return permanently or temporarily to their homeland – some are on temporary visas -- but probably the lion’s share stay here. Of the 35 million foreign born, roughly 15 million may be in the workforce. The Pew Hispanic Center estimated in 2005 that the number of undocumented workers is 7.2 million. Thus, close to half of foreign born workers are undocumented.

Undocumented workers fills about half the jobs in America that meet these criteria: 1. Less than a high school education is required, and 2. the jobs are not in industries which enforce worker documentation requirements aggressively (such as healthcare, banking, and local government).

Per the Pew Hispanic Center, 55-60% of these undocumented workers are in formal employment and are paying social security taxes. About 3 million of the 7.2 million illegal workers are in occupations in which undocumented workers account for at least 15% of total employment in that occupation. These include construction labor (25%), cooks (20%). Maids and housecleaners (22%), and grounds maintenance (25%). among roofers, 29% of the total workforce is estimated to be undocumented workers.

What is the economic impact of illegal population in U.S.? A Texas study says that illegal household payments of consumer and property taxes (via rent or home ownership) exceeds by about 30% the taxpayer burden for education, healthcare, and incarceration.
Do illegal workers displace American workers? Some say yes, others say no. It appears that undocumented worker compensation is about 30% below what it would be with 100% worker protections afforded to Americans.