Being Legal Doesn’t End Poverty

immigration rally6

immigration rally6 (Photo credit: swanksalot)

By Jennifer Medina

Those pressing for change in the country’s immigration system like to say that creating a path to citizenship will bring the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants “out of the shadows.” It is taken as a given that legal status will help them climb the economic ladder.

But in this city, and in urban areas across the country, it seems clear that even with full citizenship, many could remain in the shadow economy, earning cash for low-wage jobs.

Millions of workers in the United States — those who sew clothes, mow lawns, care for children, construct homes, clean offices and serve food — function almost entirely in a cash economy. For undocumented immigrants, working for cash tends to be the most reliable way to earn an income while avoiding any attention from the government.

Advocates of the immigration bill have used economic mobility as an argument for legalizing the millions already living here. They enthusiastically embraced a Congressional Budget Office report last month that said the Senate’s immigration bill would increase the size of the labor force and lead to greater productivity, which would raise average wages in the long term and have broad economic impact. Last week, business groups continued to pressure House Republicans to consider similar legislation.

But it is hardly a given that citizenship is a route to better jobs.

Read More Being Legal Doesn’t End Poverty –

About The Soul Brother

An observer to the world. I have a unique view of the world and want to share it. It's all in love from the people of the "blues". Love, Knowledge, and Sharing amongst all is the first steps towards solving all the problems amongst humanity.
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