Fear vs. facts: Examining the economic impact of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

David Becerra, David Androff, Cecilia Ayón, Jason T. Castillo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Scopus citations


    Undocumented immigration has become a contentious issue in the U.S. over the past decade. Opponents of undocumented immigration have argued that undocumented immigrants are a social and financial burden to the U.S. which has led to the passage of drastic and costly policies. This paper examined existing state and national data and found that undocumented immigrants do contribute to the economies of federal, state, and local governments through taxes and can stimulate job growth, but the cost of providing law enforcement, health care, and education impacts federal, state, and local governments differently. At the federal level, undocumented immigrants tend to contribute more money in taxes than they consume in services, however, the net economic costs or benefits to state and local governments varies throughout the U.S.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)111-135
    Number of pages25
    JournalJournal of Sociology and Social Welfare
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 27 2012


    • Economy
    • Immigration
    • Latinos
    • Policy
    • Social work
    • Undocumented immigration

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


    Dive into the research topics of 'Fear vs. facts: Examining the economic impact of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this