Trump’s plan for illegal immigrants and its implications for California’s economy

With Trump slowly moving up his list of controversial campaign promises that have included banning Muslims, slashing the federal regulations, stopping the TPP, etc, Trump has so far been making good work of fulfilling his promise to end illegal immigration and to deport more illegals. Although the Department of Homeland Security has stated that it is not pursuing the mass deportation, Trump has called for 5000 more Border Patrol agents and 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. In addition to this, an assessment from the DHS has found that there were 33,000 more detention beds to keep undocumented immigrants.

In addition to all this, Trump has increased the scope of deportations from the Obama administration where only illegal immigrants with serious criminal charges were focused on to any of those who have a simple crime charge. He has been successful in ending sanctuary city statuses by threatening to cut off funds and has been relocating judges to high volume cities such as LA, San Francisco, and New York.

With Trump campaigning Congress for funding for his border wall and his negotiations with law enforcement underway , it is clear that this new policy regime over illegal immigration with implicate the nation’s 11 million illegal laborers and California the most. With a GDP of over $2.4 trillion, California is the largest state in both population and wealth. It also has the largest ratio of illegal workers to workforce that is estimated to be nearly 10%. Removal of these workers will dramatically alter the work force in California, considering the facts that:

  • Illegals make up 38% of the agriculture industry and 14% of the construction industry
  • Half of the illegals have been in the United States for at least 10 years
  • 3/4 illegal immigrants live in households that includes U.S citizens.

In addition, as a native Californian myself, illegal immigrants have always been an integral part of life. They’re very embedded in local California neighborhoods and make up a large percentage of day to day laborers who work in construction and an even larger percentage in agriculture where the state is solely dependent on these low wage illegal workers. These workers contribute more than $180 billion a year to the GDP of California while costing California about $30.29 billion a year through the cost of education, social benefits, and health care. This is slightly offset by the $3.2 billion their group pays in taxes. Although illegals do use more of U.S services than they directly pay back, Trump’s plan for deportations might relieve the stress on California’s $171 billion budget but it will undercut the hundreds of billions worth of dollars the state receives from illegals and change many  industries such as child care, restaurant, agriculture, and construction in California

3 thoughts on “Trump’s plan for illegal immigrants and its implications for California’s economy

  1. lrtamburello

    I thought this was a great post. As this post makes clear, illegal immigrants play a significant role in the country’s markets and economy. They play an even greater role within state towns and specific industries. Deporting illegal immigrants will clear up some economic issues, but will also cause other economic issues. Perhaps this truth can only be fully understood if one lives in the effected areas – such as the blogger and California.

  2. cnhend19

    As another native Californian, I completely agree with the final paragraph. Immigrant labor is essential to the state and national economies, and these statistics demonstrate that.

  3. Victor Matheson

    Tough issue, though, if you are, for example, a US citizen construction worker whose wages have been undercut by undocumented immigrant labor willing to work for a lot less.


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