tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN October 11, 2016 11:28am-1:29pm EDT
you have to sort of understand who it is we're talking about. and so, how you sort of think about it. are we talking about the 50 or 60-year-old person without a high school degree, who probably spent his life in the factory and, you know, was actually earning a pretty good wage? or are we talking about the 18 to 20-year-old african-american who just basically dropped out of school and is having a tough time? and so, part of this is also trying to understand some of who these people are who are left in specific groups and why we think there might be different effects. so, one of the other things that were found in the report that's highlighted is there does seem to be a small, negative effect on the hours, not necessarily the employment, of teenagers of immigration. and part of that, you could imagine, has to do with the fact that if newly arrived immigrants
and people who are teenagers or young are going into the workforce, you could imagine that there are limited numbers of entry-level jobs, and so there's some of that happening. is that fair? >> well, i wouldn't say that it's a limited number. >> okay. >> but they're in competition, and that might affect the wages, and that, in turn, might affect how many hours the teenagers want to work. >> one last topic before we turn to the audience. so, we've talked about effects among highly skilled workers in the entrepreneurial economy and low skilled workers. how do we understand the effects in the middle? the report talks -- i mean, because of the hourglass shape of the immigration flows, they're not as direct, but there are certainly some effects. jenny? >> so, i don't think that we
have really good purely empirical studies looking at this. we have studies that are somewhat of a blend of theory and data looking at this, but those studies say that precisely because there are not many immigrants coming in with middle skills, and because the people in the middle might be complimentary, they work with the people at the top and the bottom rather than competing with them, they suggest that at least relatively speaking, immigration benefits middle-skilled natives compared to the high and low-skilled natives, or at least certainly, again, compared to the low. the high, it looks like perhaps that there's some evidence. it's not as solid as some other, but that they may also benefit from immigration. so, the middle and the highest skilled probably are benefiting. the lowest skilled are probably being hurt. >> i want to explore a little bit about those benefits. can you say a little bit more about what they constitute, how
somebody in the middle might not perceive it directly but where in their checkbook accounts they would see the effects? >> well, an example would be -- i mean, often we would take construction and we talk about -- >> can we go back to you? >> no, you can go first. >> well, we talk about say construction, so that's a classic -- there's a lot of inflows of people from mexico, central america into the lower-level construction jobs. but there are people who are the supervisors of those people. and so, if they actually do reduce the wages of the natives at the bottom, they will have a bigger demand for construction services because they're cheaper, and that will increase the demand for more likely the natives who are the supervisors, and their wages will go up. >> so, i was just going to say that part of this and part of the reason i seem to be sort of more on these messages than
others is i spent all of yesterday doing some of this with the national academy directly, to read the slides that we have. so, partly, if you go beyond employment and wages, there are other ways for that whole middle section benefit from immigrants being in the country, right? so which jenny said, in terms of housing costs or construction is probably less, those costs are less because we have immigrants acting as construction workers. in certain regions, in the midwest especially, where they're losing population, the fact that you want to sell your house, the fact that there are immigrants coming in is probably the main thing propping up those house prices. there are also all sorts of service industries that are helping make the economy run and the country run. you know, if we think about sort of where immigrants are working in terms of working in domestic health within the house, health care aides, nannies, right?
there are all sorts of direct effects that everybody, even if you're not working with somebody in your job who is an immigrant, they might be affecting your life and sort of helping things run smoother. >> on the consumer side. >> on the consumer side, exactly. >> yeah. and certainly, what you're seeing, many prices. >> yes. >> i mean, that's where people in the middle will obviously notably see the impact is on what they pay for all kinds of goods and services -- housing, a variety of other factors. >> and there are certain industries and certain occupations that are predominantly staffed with immigrants. and often, these low-skilled immigrants that people don't necessarily want to do those jobs. a colleague of mine was at a hearing yesterday on long-term care. and if you think about the people who are working in
long-term care facilities, a disproportionate number of them are not very well paid, often recent immigrants who are doing sort of some of the thankless work that we really need to do, and it's going to become increasingly important as people age, you know, as a society. >> so, let's turn to the audience for a little more than ten minutes or so, and then we'll come back to the panel for some closing thoughts. so, i think there's a microphone, is that right? there's a microphone. raise your hands. please let us know who you are. if this gentleman in the front has -- right off the mark. >> your study or your report seems to confirm previous studies showing that the effects on wages tend to effect
native-borns without a high school education. in addition to that, you say that it also affects prior immigrants. does that help explain why there may be a few anti-immigrant sentiment by these prior immigrants? >> actually, i'm often surprised that there isn't more anti-immigrant sentiment in the u.s. amongst immigrants. but i think actually over time and place, it's common. all immigrants think that they and all prior immigrants were fantastic, that everyone who came after them were somehow not so good, and i think it's for exactly this reason. i think you're right. >> yes. >> can we get a microphone over -- here you are. >> jack martin. the importance of this study, it seems to me, is that it provides information with regard to decision-making, which is important because of the fact
that immigration is a discretionary policy. it's not written in stone. so, when you find in the study that there are disparate effects with regard to who it is coming in, particularly low educational level, low-wage workers having a more negative effect with regard to the fiscal consequences, that would seem to inform the fact that there's a valid debate with regard to how many of those lower educational-level, non english-speaking people come into the country because it has more of a negative fiscal effect. but the other issues really have to do with how many you're talking about. and as i understand it, the results of the study suggest that the more the better in terms of the economic advantage of a large number of immigrants
coming into the country, but doesn't that ignore the fact that there are other outside factors, such as crowding and impact on the environment and so on, which i assume are not taken into consideration at all in this report? >> so, we don't make any policy recommendations in the report. if you go to chapter 10 and you're looking sort of for after we spent these three years doing this what we think sort of optimal policy for immigration would be, you'd be a little disappointed. partly, we were tasked with sort of laying out information and helping inform people to make those decisions. we make recommendations, but they're mainly about the need for better data, which is -- i shouldn't make light of it. it would actually be incredibly useful for us to know more information about sort of who that second generation is, but i
think a lot of what you're saying is valid and i think those are interesting questions and policy debates we should be having as a country, sort of about whether and how we'd want to change immigration policy and if there is some level. but we don't really get into those things. i don't know if you guys have -- >> i do want to follow up a little bit. so, the one key thing to know is that the benefit of immigration comes from immigrants being different from the natives, at least if you put aside the innovation and the spillover questions issues. so, if we had an inflow of immigrants to the u.s. where, basically, a twin of every person already in the u.s. came in, you would actually expect that in the end it would just be a bigger u.s. with everything the same, otherwise. sage wages, same prices. because the benefit comes when the immigrants are different and it allows this greater specialization. so, one of the advantages of having lower skilled immigrants
and our natives is to allow the specialization in some of the things kim was talking about, in some cases offering services that you actually don't even get in europe because the immigrants are not sufficiently low skilled that these services are actually offered. so, that's one almost impossible to measure benefit of the low skilled immigrants, so you need to add that. you need to add the fiscal side. >> right, so the demographic differences are actually sort of driving a lot of when we talk about the fact of having immigrants coming in. >> but the point is that the report doesn't offer these policy prescriptions. >> no. >> it's a 500-page report put on the table as a buffet for you to choose from and for us to argue about later, because it really does feed a lot of ideas. >> but just to finish, you need to add the specialization, the fiscal and the lowering the native wages altogether when you make your decision.
those three things about low-skilled immigrants. >> immigration policy is a balancing act. you have to balance all these objectives. and i think they added more data here and more insights to put into the balancing equation. >> do you have any other questions? yes. >> good morning. amanda berkson chillcot. thank you very much. my question has to do with the difference between the national economic picture and the state and local economic picture. as researchers, and this is clearly a very evidence-based report, what data do you think is in the report that would be of most interest to a state-level policymaker who's trying evaluate issues at the state level, rather than this sort of 30,000-foot national level of these issues? >> chapter 9. [ laughter ] which i did a lot of the work on. but basically, what we do and
what is different than what was done before, and partly because i thought it was really important for us to do, is in that chapter we actually break out sort of the fiscal costs and benefits for state and local governments state by state. and so, a lot of this comes down to both the characteristics of the different populations, so the different groups, and also the decisions that states are making in terms of the level of spending on education and the tax systems they have in place. and so, but if you're a state budget person or if you're just a state legislator, they're going to basically go to that chapter and look at sort of what things look like in california versus texas. and so, part of that is to sort of break out how much this varies. and the thing that i hope they take away from this, because we do find in general that immigrants cost more than they
contribute, is that second generation, where we're actually seeing this return even to many states. the problem is because people are mobile and because state tax systems are less progressive and less based on income, it means that the returns aren't necessarily as clear for the states that have to make that investment in education for what benefits the country as a whole. but for state folks, i think there is going to be a lot of delving over those tables and hope it helps. >> time for one last question. you're straining. >> being diminutive. hi, heather stewart from the association of international educators. i want to speak to higher education in international students. can you speak to the spillover effect of international students on campuses in the u.s. and also to after they graduate, some
portion of them would like to remain and work in the united states. what effects does that have on our economy and our communities? thank you. >> jenny? >> yeah, that's a very good question, and there's only a little bit in the report on that which i think reflects partly that the literature's not as big as you would think. so, i'm trying to think. we did have a couple papers in there or that we discussed that look at how the choice of field of natives is affected by the arrival of the immigrants, but that's only a little part of your question. so, i think, actually, we can talk after and i can tell you a bit more about what i think we know that's not in the report. but we don't actually have a very good understanding. there's only limited -- that's very limited amount in the report. >> it's kind of amazing, given it's a 500-page report, how much is not necessarily in there that
keeps coming up. >> yes. >> you now have approximately a minute and a half each for a sumization of the 500 words. what is the takeaway here? >> am i going? >> or what do you want to add? >> okay. >> let's go across this way. kim, you'll have the last word. >> okay. so, one thing we haven't mentioned yet, i do when i talk about these things stress what the impact on natives is because i find that that's what natives are most interested in, but we haven't mentioned that immigration is very, very beneficial to immigrants. and one thing that we have in the paper, it's a very crude calculation, extremely crude, but we calculate that the size of the economy of gdp, it's about 11% larger because of immigration, and that's in itself something some people are interested in, just the size, not per capita or not natives, just how big it is. most of that benefit does actually go to the immigrants, but chock that up as a good thing.
so, to summarize, what we show in paper is that as we would expect theoretically, but we find impyrrhm pyrrhicly, immigr raises the natives, but there are winners and losers amongst the natives. on average no effect on the wages of natives, no effect on the employment of natives, but some negative impact on the, as kim stressed, the small group by now of very unskilled natives. and yes, i'll leave it at that. >> i would just conclude like two broad points, one being that we cannot evaluate immigration in a static way at a moment in time. it's impossible, because the investments or the costs of immigrants are at one point in time and the payoffs are later. if you don't look over time, we're not able to make any decision at all that's at all
reasonable. and at the same time, the native-born population over time is also evolving. we're all evolving through time. and the aging of the baby boomers in particular will be the dominant factor for the next 20 years impacting the fiscal state of america. and so, that's just inescapable. fortunately, children grow up, and children become the new taxpayers and the new workers and new home buyers. so we have to keep both those things looking forward in time. i'll stop there. >> and i think we've covered a lot of what i think is important in the report. i think dowell points it out, the fiscal stuff is really important. one of the things we do cover that we didn't get into as much is the fact that immigrants are actually moving into a larger set of communities, and so there is more geographic dispersion, and i think that's sort of an issue that, you know, warrants more study. so i'd like to think, rather than this being the last word on
these topics, it's sort of an opening way of sort of putting some information out there that we can then build on and sort of expand what we know and what we need to know about the topic. >> oh, absolutely. as i said at the onset, this report is -- it opens the chapter of study and debate that will take a long time to digest, add to and expand on, much the way new americans produced volumes following it. this really seethes our study. and if there's a really, really simple bottom line to this, is that it's not simple. and be wary of anybody on any side of the argument who tries to convince you that it's simple. thank you. [ applause ] >> that was just terrific. so, as we're bringing this panel off and we're going to move the next one on directly, if you need to stretch your legs, let me encourage you to do that in
place, if we can, because we're going to go straight into the next discussion without a break. but it was really a wonderful chance to have three people who were part of three years of deliberation dig into and explain for us the information. and we're going to move from this discussion immediately into a discussion about the lived experience and the ways in which the broader trends that we were talking about are playing themselves out at the state and at the local level. and while our next panel is getting miked, i wanted to also just thank those of you who are participating in a very robust social media conversation about this discussion. i really want to -- i think there are a lot of -- it's interesting to see what people are pulling out from the panels and highlighting online, and i think those are areas that we can explore some more.
i will say that the urban and usc are very excited about trying to dig in to some of these consequences in our work together that's going to happen in the next chapter. so, we will have our panel miked in just about 15 more seconds, and we'll move right ahead. so, urban institute senior fellow audrey singer will moderate this next discussion. and, are we good to go? all right. thank you, audrey. [ inaudible ] >> -- down to the state an local level. i'm audrey singer, senior fellow in the metropolitan communities and housing policy center here at the urban institute, and we're really delighted to have
all of you in the room with us and those of you who are watching on the webcast. welcome as well. before i introduce our panelists, i just want to say a word about the that we have behind us. when i saw that picture i e-mailed kim rubin asking her if that was two members of the study panel when they received the final report jumping for joy. and she wrote back, no, there would be 500 pages, a book, in her hand, not just one page, so this is a naturalization ceremony with a certificate, i believe. so we're really excited to have a stellar set of speakers from several communities around the country. next to me is renata soto, the co-founder and executive
director of connection americas in nashville. con next yoen is a nonprofit that serves latino families in the nashville area to help immigrants learn english, support eck kducational success otherwise helping children immigrate into nashville. next to her is sonia lynn, general council and policy director of the new york city mayor's office of immigrant affairs. and moya is an agency that works to ensure the well-being of immigrant communities that supports their economic, social and civic integration. sonia, her main responsibilities, she leads programs that promote access to justice by connecting immigrants
to free and safe immigration legal services and citizenship support. senator mo dennis is a state senator from nevada. i should pronounce that correctly. i spent time there, i know better but i'm from the east coast. he's been a member of the legislature since 2007. mo is also the co-chair of the national conference of state legislatures task force on immigration. he works with other state senators from around the country to focus attention on state level concerns, around immigration issues and to help ncsl influence policy and legislation at the national level on a range of issues. i want to congratulate nas and
the study panel experts for this report. it says a lot about a lot of thing things. it's much harder to characterize things at the state and local level and the experiences of immigrants in the communities in which they live and work and go to school and worship and shop in and it -- of course it's -- we're going to use that as a frame to have a much fuller discussion about what it's like in various communities around the country i should point out immigrants are not evenly distributed around the country but their costs and contributions also vary widely. neither are their investments in immigrant communities made by municipal government, states and nonprofit organizations and housing markets, labor markets and the opportunities that they
offer also vary widely. different places attract different kinds of immigrants. so that's the kind of thing we'll be talking about here today. while the federal government is responsible for creating national laws and policies around immigration, most policies and programs and the practices that affect immigrants and their families are operating at the city, county and state level so it's the gnash snashvid the new yorks, and the nevadas and the las vegass that face the practicalities of integrating immigrants. they and other place around the country have choices in how to invest in immigrants and their children and they do so in varying degrees so some places, especially those with a long history and identity as immigrant gateways have been involved in the integration of immigrants for -- into social, political and economic fabric of those places, they are more likely to have well-developed
organizations that reach out to immigrants, often they have nonprofits and community based organizations that have been started by immigrant newcomers that carry on this non-governmental role of being in between immigrants and the institutions and the communities in which they're integrating into. other places where immigration is a newer phenomenon, shall we say, are somewhat less excited about immigrant newcomers coming into their midst and often places over time have developed policies that serve to deflect or exclude immigrants, often aimed at those who are undocumented but as we know the undocumented and legal immigrants and u.s. citizens are all wrapped up sometimes in the same families and households and certainly in the same communities so those policies tend to affect a larger group of people. so i'm going to start with
renata. nashville is currently the home of about 150,000 immigrants. it's doubled in size since 2000 and immigrants now make up about 8% of the population and i would like to talk to you about conexion a little bit. tell us about the organization, its work and goals and what kinds of issues moved you to start the organization. >> well, it's great to be here. i would say i'm one of the 40 million in the rorlt. i came to the u.s. when i was 21 with the opportunity to finish college and stayed here because of marriage. nashville is one of the many places that you described where many nashville yans didn't know someone that spoke a foreign language, that came from somewhere else in a very clear and tangible way up until 20, 25 years ago. and conexion americas is a response to not only the growth
of latino families coming to places like nashville or atlanta, georgia, or charlotte, north carolina, or dalton, georgia, too. but also our response to recognize that those families are looking to become part of the community and start a business and buy a house and pursue the american dream that also the nashville community was grasping a change that some welcome more than others and the birth of conexion americas is precisely to be a support network for those families that are arriving and also a place to have conversations with native nashvillians about why in the first place mexicans come to nashville. why are central americans arriving? what are the conditions that we leave behind and what are the challenges and opportunities that we're seeking in our new community? we have been around now 14 years
and our focus has been promoting the social, economic, and civic integration of those families. we understand that's a two-way street where immigrants are trying to learn the new language, new systems, new customs but also where deliberately we're understanding that nashvillians have to adapt in reciprocal ways and that we are a more defense secretary community but that nashville will only be incluesive if we take the steps that those immigrants have opportunities to succeed and that nashville as a whole will reap the benefits of their contributions. we are an organization that at a basic level to break it down help families buy houses by accessing financial products that meet their needs. we help streps find -- pursue an idea and turn it into a successful business including a
culinary incubator that highlights the conversation in the earlier panel of people that are coming with family recipes and with amazing creativity and stil skills are turning into into successful businesses, food trucks, wholesalers, and are creating jobs not just for themselves but for others and we are invested in the point of making sure the second generation is fulfilling what the report says, primarily focusing on ensuring that the children of immigrants or immigrant kids who are already a growing percentage of our school system in nashville have the opportunity to succeed in high school and become the first in their families to graduate from high school and go to college through a national program developed by the national council of la raza, we are one of 20 who implement that and i'll talk about how that connects to what we heard in the
report but certainly we understand that immigrants are not just workers who want a good job but they're people full of aspirations and needs and assets and dreams and we tried to be a support at every point of their lives in nashville and hoping that we're also a voice for bringing nashvillians and immigrants together to understand how our presence benefits our city. >> well, if you'd like to say something about the second generation i think it's of great interest. certainly in the report it spends a lot of time talking about not just the short term but the long-term benefits of this population and i don't know if you can elaborate on how the second generation is doing as they become adults, as they enter the work force, are they staying in nashville, what's going on around that? >> so nashville is a -- even in our 14-year history we already
can see the change of our community. 14 years ago when we started conexion americas we were mostly exclusively thinking about the resources, tools, aspirations, challenges, and assets of the first arriving parent, usually the dad who came to nashville for a construction job when nashville was in the middle of a construction boom, building a stadium for football and an arena and other big infrastructure investments. as a -- i love to hear the story from a priest in our community in the neighborhood where we are located that says in the early 1990s his church changed by the number of single men that shows up to church and then three years later his church changed again because those men now were bringing their wives and kids who thigh senow that nashville
place that they saw a place to call home permanently. at that same way in conexion americas we see not only those adults who are the first arriving, learning english, being employed in service industry. hospitality tourism is very important industry in nashville and certainly the immigrant work force is propelling the vitality of industry in big ways. but then also we started seeing the shift of our school systems and actually for us it's more important to see what the school system is looking like than what the census tells us about how many immigrants are in our community because that's like the more real snapshot of what was happening in nashville. 25% of children in kindergarten are latino and 30% of the students in nashville comes from home where english is not the primary language and that continues to grow every year. we have a system of about almost 90,000 children so what we see now is both the children that
came with their parents as immigrants but also the children are who are being born in nashville who already in kindergarten and now graduating from high school and a few years ago precisely recognizing the change in the clamor from parents to also have resources to help their kids succeed in school is that we brought the nclr program to nashville which is an intense after school program to help them succeed and what i can tell you is that we are in front of that american dream of the parents who might be employed at what you call low-skilled jobs although i would argue many people in this room could not build some of the brick beautiful walls and things we see around and i find it very, very skillful. but certainly their children are this group of people that have not only this expectation from their parents but this eagerness to make sure that they will be
the ones in their family who will change the trajectory and make it to college and that is great and we are trying to make sure they have the supports to do that. however we are also competing with our own self-interest in tennessee in that -- and in many places in the country, many of these kids who are undocumented are not seen as the tennesseans who they are and therefore for them college is more expensive, having to pay sometimes three times the amount of money that it would dos a tennessee student and so while our states and our governor is pushing a plan that is called drive to 55, meaning that in the next 20 years, tennessee will achieve that mark where at least 55% of our citizens will have graduated from high school and have some kindover secondary education because only 25% of tennesseans do now because we understand the
economic investment that having a more educated work force will mean to our economy in tennessee so in one hand our governor and our system is pushing that we reach 55%, everybody, let's get a secondary education somewhere. but on the other hand we have about 14,000 students in tennessee who would benefit from in-state tuition rates that are already saying i want to go to college, i want to be a doctor, i want to be a teacher, i want to be an engineer but we're making their work harder and we're making that path more expensive and sometimes we're easily tempting them to go to another route in which they will not pursue further education and so we see what the report says in two ways. the energy of those kids, the -- what is propelling them and the parents that are propelling them to achieve that, the eagerness to become the first in their families to go to college, to
break that and achieve an educational level that many of their parents who had four or sixth-grade education don't have but yet in our state we're still grasping this sort of reverse policy that is against our interest when we're not making that more possible for these 14,000 kids and others behind them. >> thank you. so new york, well, everybody knows new york is the place with the largest number of immigrants in the united states. it has a long history of receiving immigrants, has the statue of liberty. there are nearly six million foreign-born people in the metropolitan area, which is a huge metropolitan area. more than half of them live in the city of new york and as a place where its history -- as a continuous place of settlement
sets it apart from many other places so new york is ahead of things in a lot of ways and it's kind of unfair to other places but they are able to present options and opportunities other places can't so what i'm interested in hearing from sonia about is how a municipal level infrastructure works. how the city government works and invests in these communities and their interactions not only with immigrant communities but with the non-profit sector. various other city agencies and what it's like to be in a place with a well-developed well-funded infrastructure to support immigrants. so talk to us about what you guys do at moya and why the city invests so much. >> great. thanks, audrey. and thank you all for coming
here today. thank you so much to the urban institute for hosting this really important conversation. i'm really excited to keep talking about these issues and dive into the report in the days and months to come. moya in new york city, as audrey mentioned, we have this broad mandate which i think is a fantastic one which is to promote the well-being of new york city immigrants and support their social, civic, economic integration. we at moya are within the city charter within the mayor's office. we recommend policies to pursue our mandate. we conduct outreach throughout the city in immigrant communities in the five boroughs and we help immigrants navigate the city government, new york city generally and under the leadership of mayor de blasio and our commissioner we've really focused on a few particular strategies at moya in
this administration ones to really realize a vision that we have of inclusive government, an equitable city, a government for all new yorkers including the three million foreign-born new yorkers and make sure these immigrant new yorkers have access to city services and resources in order to pursue their dreams, fulfill their potential another focus that we have as audrey mentioned is supporting immigrants in accessing justice. for us that means making sure that we can connect people to immigration legal services, support them on their path to citizenship. we've done research with the urban institute that shows the economic benefits of naturalization for immigrants, a rise in wages, in employment
rates, it's good for immigrant, good for their families, good for us in the city as well and so access to justice is a big deal for us and then advocacy on behalf of new york city immigrants at the local, state, and federal levels. and in doing this work, we work with a really broad range of people, we're a small unit within the mayor's office, we -- it's not our job to serve all new york city immigrants, we do it in partnership with our sister agencies throughout the new york city government with the really rich and broad kind of community of community-based organizations in new york, faith, labor, business, we work with all kinds of stakeholders and partners who see the benefit in supporting new york city immigrants and i think another key to our success is thinking
about testing innovative policies and programs, now approaches for delivering services, connecting to immigrants. you know we -- i think probably the best known program that we've launched in this administration is the i.d. nyc program, it's new york city's municipal i.d. card which was launched at the beginning of 2015, so less than two years later 1 in 10 new yorkers has a municipal i.d. card. it's just been tremendously successful and i'm happy to talk about it more but i think it's been a really great learning experience for us in the partnerships and collaborations that need to happen and kind of how to design programs so that they're useful and beneficial to immigrant new yorkers and to all new yorkers. i think we've learned that that's a real necessary
ingredient for program success. >> so from what i know it sounds like the nyc i.d. doesn't just benefit immigrants. it didn't come out of your office. or did it? >> we were one of the agencies involved? >> so the idea is that if you have one of these i.d.s that you have access to a bunch of things and it provides city agencies and other organizations i.d. but i guess you've got 1 in 10 now. do you have a sense of how well people are using this? what share are immigrants or foreign-born people? what they're using it to access? and i guess i again want to stress new york really is a laboratory for other places and because they're a little bit ahead in terms of how they view immigrants and the money they
have to spend on them these are lessons for other places, there are many other places around the country, cities in particular that have municipal i.d.s and have had them for a while and so we're learning about how populations use them but i wonder if you can tell us more about new yorkers. >> absolutely. and definitely we were not the first city to create a municipal i.d. program. new haven, san francisco, other cities had these programs and we are talking to sort of jurisdictions all the time that are interested in starting municipal i.d. programs. in new york i think sort of to answer one of your questions audrey about how are people using the i.d., what benefit does it have to them, we actually did a study with a third-part yee valuation firm that came out last month really to dive into this question of, you know, is it working? do people like it? what are they using it for?
are immigrants actually using it? definitely immigrant new yorkers were a key population we had in mind in designing and implementing the program, they were not the only population by any means, this is a card for all new yorkers. we wanted it to be broadly appealing in scope because we didn't want it to be a card that stigmatized card holders. we wanted it to be something that signaled the most precious identity of all, which is that of being a new york ier. [ laughter ] in my opinion. the evaluation was really interesting. we -- you know we confirmed that the card is popular throughout the city so we have card holders in all zip codes across all five boroughs, definitely higher rates of enrollment in
immigrant-dense neighborhoods and population, we don't ask about immigration status by the way so we don't know who's undocumented, who's documented, people's citizenship status. it's really do we know who you are? do we know you live in new york city? those are the questions we ask when people enroll other things we learned in the study are that of the immigrants who have the card, who self-identified as immigrants, responded to the survey, about 66% use it as their primary i.d. about 36% have it as their only form of u.s.-based i.d. and that people use it for all sorts of things. it's kind of using it exactly as we hoped for very quotidian things like entering city buildings, going to pick up their kids at school when often times you need to show i.d., using it to open a bank or
credit union account with a participating financial institution. using it -- when we were designing the program we worked with a wide range of cultural institutions throughout new york city to -- who agreed -- who were really excited, actually, about offering free one-year memberships to their institutions for card holders and that's been a really popular benefit for the card and i think has drawn a really diverse cross section of new yorkers to the progr program. they're using it, the museums and concert halls and other institutions are thrilled to see new populations come through their doors and enjoy what they have to offer. we just announced new benefits where new york runner, a recreational racing club has offered memberships to card
holder holders and sporting goods stores offering discounts. you can get prescription discounts. so it's a key to the city for new yorkers, it's in their wallet. you can use it and enjoy everything the city has to offer and what is the most powerful statistic is the really high rate, over 70% of respondents to the survey who talked about how having the new york city i.d. increased their sense of belonging in the city and confirmed their status as a new yorker which says a lot about the power that this kind of bureaucratic-looking boring piece of plastic can have. >> that's interesting and i see the membership benefits but also going back to our theme of the session, economic benefits.
it will be interesting to watch that over the long term and to see what happens in new york and other places as well. so in las vegas immigrants have been drawn there because of the hospitality sector, construction sector when there was a recent boom but they've been around since mid-20th century in some numbers. things really took off during the growth of the late 1990s when a lot of immigrant workers flocked to nevada and helped build a lot of the growth we've seen. and so now 22% of las vegass and nevada's total population is foreign born. but the great recession also hit las vegas very hard. and vegas the one of those
places that's used to having boom-and-bust economies but where immigrants tend to work the effe the affects tend to go pretty deep in many communities so if you could talk about both sides of what you do, kind of what you do for the state and also what you do as a member of this national task force on immigration, that would be great to hear about. >> sure. so i'm the son of cuban immigrants, i was born in brooklyn but we moved to vegas when i was six. a lot of cubans back then were coming from -- even though my parents came before castro, a lot of cubans were coming from that era of castro and they were literally going from casinos in havana to casino in las vegas and then in the years since we've had a lot of growth. in fact yesterday i was at the circus hotel, which is one of the older hotels in las vegas
and we tend to tear things down and build them new and bigger and so we're kind of going through that right now where we're starting to tear down some stuff and building up some new things. the -- from the national council state legislature we have had this task force for about 10 years. i've been in the legislature since 2004 which right that have is when i became part of this task force. we've been to nashville. we saw your facility and the wonderful things you're doing there. we've been to new york with the fed and looking at economic benefits. we've been in -- all over the country. we've been to the borders, including washington state, down in arizona, we've been down in california and we've even been to mexico city to talk to mexico city folks about their immigration.
so we've had this opportunity to look at these things and suggest policies and some of the thing things that i've seen across the country are amazing what they're doing with immigrants. in nevada we've -- probably one of the biggest challenges is education. one thing that's different about nevada than a lot of states is we don't have a state income tax so all of the money we get comes from sales tax, property tax so regardless of your immigration status, everybody in nevada pays taxes because you have to live somewhere and you have to buy things and our economic studies that have looked in the past have shown that our immigrant population puts back $2 billion which is greater than the population as a whole so it's been a real boon for us but as you mentioned we're boom or best and when the hotels are doing well, everything else, construction and those other new jobs, but we have -- and the other thing we see from immigrants is a lot of the
smaller business, the micro businesses, those kinds of things are doing very well, in fact, i remember seeing the ones at yours -- the culinary ones you have in nashville. amazing. they give you the opportunity to have a facility until you can get your own. i have seen a similar thing in minneapolis. so we're seeing those thing and in nevada we have a similar thing. one of the -- as a legislator one of the big challenges we had is we had as many -- is since the federal folks haven't put in place some type of immigration policy that will work, we see a lot of states doing different things so in nevada one of the things that we did that took me eight years but we finally got it through was to do a driver's authorization card. similar to a driver's license but not an i.d. but it allows people to drive and get their kids to school, go to the doctor. we already know they were
driving so this way it gives them an opportunity to take the test and makes the road safer, gives them an opportunity to do insurance. but we started that program i think three years ago. we now have 32,000 individuals that have applied for the card and used it. in our education we have -- just in clark county in the las vegas area, about 80% of the population of nevada, we have over -- i think it's over 80 -- i could be wrong, there could be more than that, there's at least 80 different language the school district has to deal with. of course hispanic being a large one, tagalog being another one. so there's a lot of challenges there. we don't fund at the -- anywhere near the national average as far as education and with all that growth at our heyday, at the peak we were building a new
school every 20 days in the las vegas area, opening up a new school so over a period of eight years we built i think it was 16 high schools, 32 middle schools and 60 something elementary schools. we had kids going to different schools every year and not moving and so we have put some more investment, especially more recently in the last four years into the english language learner program which as a state we didn't do that. we were using federal money for that but we've invested and seen great results. there's a program called zoom schools that we put in the high need english language learner population schools that provides for pre-k, it provides for smaller classes in full-day kindergarten and reading help, summer school and we've seen amazing results there so we've doubled that effort this last legislative session and now we're looking at changing the
way we fund schools, the funding formula to reflect the need for english language learners for special education, for those kinds of things. but you know one of the things that i -- we talked about the lower-skilled jobs but we consider construction a skilled job because somebody has to train them how to do that and fortunately when they come from wherever country they're coming from, they're already coming skilled so while it costs us to educate their children, we didn't have to educate the parents so there's a cost benefit there even though it's expensive. now we see these same parents came who want to make their lives better for their kids and work in hotels. their kids are now going to school and becomes doctors and lawyers and engineers and in nevada we don't have the issue of in state out of state tuition depending on your citizenship. so our kids are able to go to college and although the cost is
still prohibitive in some cases and we're working on some of those things to brirng down the costs of community colleges. >> i think that's a really important point, this sort of non-quantifiable and it kind of goes back to the discussion of our panelists of what immigrants bring with them already and the fact that lower-skilled people have skills that are valuable and fit into the labor market in certain ways. not to put you too much on the spot but as a state legislator, from what you heard on the panel and i'm sure you read the whole report on the way here. [ laughter ] . it came out on the red eye so a lot of reading going on. but from what you've heard, does anything about either the state analyses or the anything in there resonate with you as a leader concerned with these things in the state of nevada?
>> the one thing i know for sure is when you have these types of reports and we've had a few other ones come out this year that are helpful to us as policymakers because look look at that. and in politics you'll always have some folks that it doesn't matter what you present to them they already know the answer before you even -- even though it's completely wrong. [ laughter ] but for the most part what i've seen -- working -- because the ntsl immigration task force is bipartisan, i'm the co-chair, we have a democrat and republican that are co-chairs and the members of the committee are also that way and so we work together to come up with policies that work and so when we see these kind of reports and specifically this one i think will be very helpful and it does look at that issue of the national versus the local and as i mentioned earlier, depends on which state you're from, the kind of impacts, especially fiscally and economically that you have and i've seen that as
we've gone across the country and seen different states and the challenges that they have and how they fund things so having that information is important. we have some folks from georgia and other places where -- washington state where there's a lot of agricultural needs in many parts and in the whole center part of the plains states where they have different charges with immigrants so what we've seen is many states have kind of -- they're piecemealing immigration poll seetz to benefit them so moving forward what we would hope to see is that something will get resolved and we'll get updated immigration policy but that will also give states the opportunity to customize our individual needs so that it's not one cookie cutter thing for every state but that it will allow us
to look at -- if we need this type of worker and in nevada, it's a great example, while tourism is our bread and butter, we still have mining. we're the number-three producer of gold in the world behind australia and south africa. we need people for those types of industries but we've attracted faattract ed favor -- favor day futures who will be there and tesla is building a factory. so we need those industries and we have technology companies coming and everything, including when you talk about hotels and hospitality, we don't think of those being technology companies but everything they do is technology with gaming and all that and so we have that great need in nevada to be able to attract those workers and to educate the ones we do have.
>> well, you mentioned -- you phrased it very nicely. i think you said -- now i'm going to forget. updated immigration policy. so since you went there i think we'll talk about that. we're in a moment right now where immigration is really top of mind, top of the agenda of a lot of policy discussion taking place nationally with this presidential campaign season and just in -- it's opened up a lot of discussions across communities and i'm wondering if you could all talk about some of the challenges that you have on the ground dealing with issues that arise as they arise and, renata, you talked about bringing nashvilgnashianashvili
resident nashvillians and i guess it's fair to say that tennessee for most of its 20th century history was biracial. had native-born blacks and whites and as immigrants started arriving they kind of intersected this society there and the economy in ways that may or may not have been comfortable and now we're in a moment where it's sort of the age of inequality, we're talking a lot more about race, we're talking a lot more about immigration and how all of these things intersect so on the ground what does it feel like in each of your communities to have these conversation conversations within these contexts and ultimately whether you have the right facts, study facts, some facts that you like, it does often come back to economic issues and so i was
hoping you could all offer some comments. >> so as the previous panel has said, it's not a simple answer and certainly tennessee, even though you might think and still wonder, really, latinos in tennessee? and you also think it's a very conservative state, it's not a black-and-white story so i'll give you a couple examples. i would say if you ask any immigrant in nashville overall how they feel about life in nashville, that's why we have grown so much and why these men that i described before brought their families later. it seems a welcoming place with a decent quality of life, better cost of living. many latino immigrants that we have in nashville come both from their countries of origin but many of them are moving from other parts, particularly california and places where the cost of living is higher and where maybe job opportunities are not as available or
perceived to be as available as in places like nashville. nashville is a place that has been tested maybe like no other places. in 2007 to 2009 we fought an english-only referendum and apparently we were the first city of our size that took that to the ballot and to the borders and nashvillians defeated that in a way of sending a message that that's not who we were and the kind of community we were building so certainly nashville -- i think the fact that conexion america dpiss a sd the nonprofit collaborative that brings ten nonprofits under one roof and that conexion developed is testament to me that nashvillians believe in the importance of investing in organizations like ours, in efforts like ours to offer tools and resources to our newest neighbors. then you get out of nashville and you get in rule communities
where people maybe have perceived that change and well come in a different way. and for many years, up until three or four years ago at the state legislature we were fighting anti-immigrant bills often 65 of them at a time and they were a reflection of just making life harder for immigrants who were coming to tennessee in the sense that tennessee was way too attractive because we were offering driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants or because we just didn't have mechanisms to not be a community with -- where only legal up grants were welcome and so interestingly enough, though, three years ago that changed and in a way for the first time we were able to be for something and not just defending our community against bad things and to me maybe that's a thermometer that the conversation might change and even more so we for the last two years have been working and our colleagues at the tennessee immigrant and
refugee rights coalition, one of our partners in the state has led the effort on tuition equality so undocumented kids can go to our public schools, paying as tennesseans. in many other states it has taken five years or more to get there. in tennessee we're not there yet but the first time we proposed it we lost that bill for only one vote which was amazing in its own way and i have to tell you the co-sponsors of the bill were two republicans not from nashville but one from chattanooga to our east and one from memphis to our west side. around that in itself is a reflection of the understanding of people of all parties that it's in their best interest and the economic interest of that community. in one of the cases for our senator in chattanooga it was because the realization of who was in his community and employers, actually, bringing to him the fact that we needed to
make this potential work force that we were educating already more integrated into the economic future of chattanooga and so i think that unfortunately in tennessee also, like in many places we are competing to see who can be more unwelcoming often and certainly the last year the effect of the rhetoric from trump has affected our community, too, and if we move forward in the last two years on this discussion on tuition equality as a one place where maybe tennesseans were moving forward thinking that was a wise investment that it was in the economic interest of the state, certainly we feel these last few months we have taken many, many steps back and actually we're feeling very concerned about the likelihood of this year when we bring this issue for the third time to the legislative session how much are
we going to move forward. and i can tell you that it is an interesting tail of people like gardenhire in chattanooga making a case for why we need to open these policies and open the opportunity for these kids to go to college but then in the other hand we are also making sure that tennessee was not welcoming to muslim refugees and we were one of the states that said please don't send us any syrians. and so i think that certainly like many place s are schizophrenic in our view of what we want in our community at what point and i think the work of organizations like ours and elected officials and the partnerships among them is the only way -- and sustained effort that is going to make sure that people understood at a personal
level and at a community level why all this matters. i think that in nashville in particular often we feel a little bit complacent that we're a welcoming community but in fact i have to say that we are -- when you were describing the work, for example, in new york city, an ethos of immigrant city, right? then a place like nashville where i'm sure in the audience you're wondering "really? how many immigrants are in nashville?" but i have to say i'm more hopeful because i also think it's unexpected for many people in the audience to believe that we have sophisticated networks of support by the nonprofit sector and our local government in how we have responded to the demographic change in the last 20 years. the fact that your task force came to nashville to see the work of conexion americas -- >> i didn't mean to dis you. >> no, that's -- that's why i'm here.
but the reality is that there are more -- i am hopeful that in places like nashville i think is where we're going to -- we're testing like what americans believe about what it means to be an american. i think that in new york probably you feel tested in so many ways but that is sort of like our golden aspiration, right? that we would be a community where people believe that that's who we are at the most essential way, right? and i think in places like nashville where we're testing that definition of what it means to be an american by how we are changed by new people that come to us and while it's really hard to be hopeful in today's world and in this larl time, the response of nashvillnashvillian elected officials, citizens and the nonprofits that have grown
give me hope that maybe we'll get it right. >> before we move to q&a, which we're going to do in a minute. i'm going to ask you if you would like to briefly make a few more comments. >> i would. i'm going to try to be brief. i have so many things to say but i'm going try to be brief because ren gnat a a brought up interesting things. new york is different. in reflecting on the last panel, i guess maybe new york is the future. we have three million immigrants, about 40% of the population is foreign born. 60% of the population are immigrants or the churn of immigrants, 50% of the work force is foreign born. half of the small business owners, immigrants are taxpayers, they're workers, they're employers, they're consumers. if we're going to have a functioning city government we have to have an immigrant inclusion strategy and we know that and it's not like a walk in the park, it's the most diverse
immigrant population in the country probably so it means that we have to be smart and strategic and tailored in our delivery of services in light of the population in the city. but it's not as controversial of a -- of an approach as it might be in other parts of the country. diversity is just who we are. we're proud of our immigrant story in the city. the one thing that's really interesting, though, as renata mentioned, we are increasingly talking more to our counterparts like other moyas throughout the country about these best practices. strategies, sharing ideas and innovative programs and policies and joining together in advocacy and in seeking reforms at the national level. and, you know, in the last two
years we've helped spearhead the development of a coalition of localities, cities for action that has, i think, over 100 mayors and countery leaders now who have joined on. we have monthly calls. we share updates with each other and then, you know, we work together to support the kind of national change that we all really want to see. foremost of which is immigration reform but we've also come together to urge the president to accept more refugees. speaking from the local government perspective we've come together to oppose efforts to defund sanctuary cities. we see that our interest is in really robust national reform for immigrants and we want to bring that perspective and that voice to the conversation so i do think that increasingly there's the recognition and i'm
excited to get into the weeds of the report and sort of figure out what is in there from the local perspective that will give us more insight into what we're doing. >> i think i'll just quickly talk about, you know, as we look to change policies, one of the things that's changed in the last few years, when i got elected, i was the first latino -- i was the only latino in the nevada assembly. two years later -- i'm the son of immigrants. two years later an immigrant got elected so the two of us became the hispanic caucus. [ laughter ] and that happened -- that stayed that way for i think another four years and also we went from two to eight and we went from being just members to all of a sudden now i was the majority leader of the senate and we've got committee chairman so a lot
of the policies change because people knew that in order -- that they had to pay attention. but more important than that was that we went from, i think, the immigrant population participation in elections back then to what it is today has changed and people are paying attention to those kinds of things so we're seeing changes because immigrants themselves are becoming more engaged in what's going on and i think that people are -- as immigrants do so, i think others are seeing these reports that come out, they're seeing -- they get to know families that are immigrant families and see the type of things that are going on so that's been very helpful in this whole process so i foresee that that will become even more so and we'll be able to get better policies because when i first got elected it was hard to pass anything that was trying to help the immigrant community. it took eight years but when we got to that eighth year doing
the driver's license was much easier because i had more people that had been elected and we had the opportunity and of course i was majority leader, that helped but the community has a whole turned out and did things so that's an important part of the mix. >> i think leadership, what you're all speaking to is this role of state and local leaders in opening up these discussions no matter how controversial or the conflict and working through them and having the right tone and it seems like there is a lot going on in the places that you live in and work in. so i wanted to open up to the floor any questions and we have maybe about i don't know, time for two or three. we have one right here.
>> well, good morning. i wanted to ask sort of an obvious question but it's always good to hear that immigrants are contributing in successful and constructive ways to the growth of the country and you have many examples, particularly new york and nevada. but the i.d. topic is certainly huge and we know why because there's always a potential for abuse and using it in some way that shouldn't be used so can you tell me a little bit more about how you go about -- it's now harder, for instance, to get renewal of an i.d. here in d.c. now you have to have your birth certificate where you didn't have to have that before. so have you found there have been problems with that? have there been more forgeries of birth certificates or any issues that have come up with people accessing this card because this card can obviously get you a lot of places. >> thank you for that question.
it's a really good one. when we were designing the program, both during the legislative process and the implementation process for the i.d. nyc card, security of the card was foremost in mind because we wanted it to be a robust card that would be widely accepted and could be used as somebody's primary i.d. and we knew that being able to ensure the integrity of the card, the integrity of the program would be necessary for that acce acceptance. one of our partners in the design implementation process was the new york police department who worked with us really closely to set up the kind of protocols that we would need to be sure that we did know who somebody was when they were applying for a card that we could confirm their address so that when we put that information on the card we could do so with confidence.
and we've been pleased with the safety and security of the card. nearly two years in we have a really strong integrity team that has really -- you know, secure procedures for issuing the cards. we have not found them to be a weaker standard than comparable i.d.s. when i say comparable i.d.s, we've been looking at state i.d.s as our peers. just thinking about the size of new york city, the number of new york city residents who don't have a driver's license, we want wanted the i.d. to serve that purpose, at least in the city. >> and in nevada we're not there yet when it comes to an i.d.ment even the driver's authorization card specifically wanted -- we can't rimt limit businesses from doing that. the other issue, too, with the
driver's issues was the real i.d. act so that you have to do in the compliance with that so our card is the alternative. if you don't want a real i.d. you can get the driver's authorization card. the other thing is mexican government with with the matricula consular card have increased their security measures so they can be used whereas in the past it was harder to use that and some of the other central american and south american countries their consular cards with better but we've been able to use those for i.d. purposes when you're app applying for the driver's license and other things. >> any other questions? i have one right here. >> i'm from the association of hispanic real estate professionals. renata, this is primarily for
you. and you probably would appreciate this. most people don't know that right now there are 400,000 approximately fewer are from white households from 15 years ago. 400,000 fewer white owner households today. at the same time, there's been an increase of nearly 3 million hispanic homeowner households. to some measure, you have done this in nashville with your organization. at the same time, latinos have driven employment growth in the country by more than 2/3 during the last 15 years. the same has occurred in educational gains. there's a lower dropout rate. more latino kids are attending college and same thing in
business. latina women are coming up with new businesses at a much higher rate than the rest of the population, which goes to my question. i had asked jason furman, who is the chairman of the council of economic advisers, conservatives tend to criticize the level of employment right now claiming it is false. that even though we're closer to full employment, that the real problem lies with labor force participation rates. it just so happens if latinos have had a larger labor force participation rate since the year 2000, 69%, as opposed to 66% which was for the rest of the population. 62 for the country, but it's 66 for latinos. and the question i asked mr. furman is do you think that the reduction that has occurred
among latinos in labor force participation is due in part to the fact as it is reported in the report there's been a net wash, and in fact some years where we have actually lost immigrants that have come -- >> is your question -- the question you asked to jason furman, one of our leading economists, you're going to ask to renata. >> i had hoped to ask cecilia also that same question. the other question is -- >> i don't understand the question. >> labor force participation reduction rates particularly for hispanics -- >> what rate -- >> i'm about to finish. have been lowered because more kids are attending school and staying in school, so that's actually a plus.
especially for cecilia is are you looking at the impact of latinos on the overall labor force participation rates because this is important for people who think employment is not where it should be. >> i will just briefly say without being able to respond to your macro question that at a local level in nashville labor participation among latinos and immigrants is pretty high.
underemployment. we know a lot of people are working two or three jobs because there's no full-time jobs. and underemployment is our concern. it is not participation in the labor force. >> yeah, i think there's a lot of fodder in the report that addresses these issues either directly or indirectly. are there any questions from the floor from over here? there's one back there. yeah. actually, i'm told we have got to end. so maybe we can talk at the end, but we've got to stop because we have our next -- our keynote has just arrived. for hanging with us on this topic and this very serious and thick report. thanks for being with us. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> this has been a really extraordinary morning, and i am
particularly pleased that we've gone from, what was it, a plethora of economists who bring a lot of insight of a kind and then to be able to hear what's happening in three of america's most dynamic cities and the ways in which that work is playing itself out on the ground in the ways which local economies have benefitted has been really nice. and we're going to close our program today probably with the most fitting possible way we could have to end this discussion. i have the great pleasure and honor of introducing the director of the domestic policy council, assistant to the president. cecilia munoz. cecilia coordinates the domestic policy making process in the white house. if you think about that sentence for a second, you get a sense of the breadth of responsibilities that cecilia has had. that means education. that means health care and energy and climate change among so many other things, but there's probably no other issue
that's been more central to her work and her life than the one we have talked about today. she has also relevant to this discussion played a role previously in helping to manage the white house's relationship with governors, mayors, and other local leaders. again, understands the difference between the national impact and local government. prior to joining the administration, cecilia was at nclr where she was senior vice president in the office of research, advocacy, and legislation. as i'm sure you all know, that's the nation's largest latino civil rights organization. there she worked on employment, education, health, housing, farm and, of course, immigration policy. whether it's been from the state level, the city level, looking at the advocate perspective and now representing the president of the united states in the formulation of his immigration policy in a larger national context, some of the most
fraught and divisive times we've had to lead to, the president could probably have had no better adviser at his side than cecilia. the macarthur foundation if anyone was watching your news yesterday may have saw they announced its fellowships. they don't like -- i'm not sure if they like to call them or not the genius awards, but they are in fact inspiring young leaders. cecilia's career suggests to us their great insight in suggesting back in 2000, so 16 years ago, that she was one of the macarthur foundation's fellows. we all benefit from her pragmatism and resolve and we're really lucky to have her close out today. please join me in welcoming cecilia munoz. [ applause ] >> thank you, sarah. what a lovely introduction, one that will be very hard to live up to. i'm really excited that you're doing this, that you're having
this conversation at the urban institute. i'm thrilled both to see the conversation about the economic benefits of immigrants, which are at some level well-known, but it's an incredibly important piece of the conversation, but to also dig into the local work that's happening, the work of integrating immigrants. we get an awful lot, an awful lot, without being nearly deliberate enough. one of the things this administration has been doing which i'm really proud of -- and i've lost track of my colleague felice escobar who is standing back there who works at the domestic policy council, who is helping lead the charge on the question of immigration from the point of view of the federal government. we're actually aligning the federal agencies on this question of immigrant integration to make sure that we're doing our part along with the likes of the folks you just saw on your last panel. that's a tremendously important effort, and we are connected to this welcoming movement as a way of lifting it up and strengthening it, because for
all that we get, which i know you've been talking about all morning, economically as well as in other ways from the immigrant community, we can do even better and we should. thanks to make of the leaders assembled in this room we are. i'm really grateful both for that work, but also for your lifting it up and very grateful to be part of this conversation today. so this is a timely topic. in preparing my remarks and thinking about it and reflecting, i have been doing this work in this town for 30 years, it's never not been a timely topic. it seems we are always in the thick of debate on immigrants and their value to this country, their potential for competing with the rest of us, and on the necessity of immigration reform. clearly, we're in the thick of such a debate now -- and i should say at the outset if folks are interested in or hoping i would comment on the current public debate i'm afraid i'll have to disappoint you. i'm a government official. we're not commenting on things related to campaigns tempting
though it might be, but i am in a policy making role. i can comment on the administration's policy views, on the really interesting and important contributions of the study you've been discussing today and its findings. it's a very important contribution. it confirms at some level what has been clear for a long time, well over a decade and some would say well over a century. and that is that by and large the economic contributions of immigrants are critical to our national wellbeing, that fears about competition within the workforce are vastly overblown. that with the exception of children, who it turns out are expensive, immigrants or not, because we educate them because it's the right thing to do, that with that perhaps notable exception, the contribution of immigrants and their off spring we are taking pains to educate,
they are well established and very vital to our well being and our future. we know this. the study we've been talking about today provides vital updated analysis and depth that reconfirms it, so there's room for honest debate here, but really there's no serious argument that immigration is anything but a net positive for our economy. so we also know if we were to fix what everybody acknowledges is broken about our immigration system, we could do even better than we're doing economically. when the senate passed its immigration reform proposal most recently in 2013, the congressional budget office found that that proposal would grow the economy by an additional 5.4% compared to the status quo, reduce the federal budget deficit by nearly $850 billion over the next 20 years, reduce the federal debt by three percentage points, in 2023 add nearly $300 billion to the social security trust fund over the necked decade, extending social security solvency, strengthening the housing market. there's a whole host of good things that are now documented that would have resulted at least from the immigration reform that passed the senate in 2013. now i have spent the last eight
years working alongside the national economic council during a period of epic economic downturn. and as the census showed us last week, pretty epic recovery. and i've learned that the arsenal of tools that we have to spur economic growth, especially in the short term, is pretty limited. and frankly, we used every lever that we could get our hands on to come out of the economic recovery. this is the lever that we missed, that we, as a nation, a tool that we left on the table that could have provided additional economic growth at a time in which the country was clamoring for it because congress failed to enact an immigration reform. the census data shows us we've made huge progress, but the point is that we could have done more with this tool that we left on the table and the tool is obviously still very much on the table. even the president's proposed executive actions, which are
much more limited than what the congress could do, had we been able to enact them, but i "we" i mean the president's council of advisers, would boost economic input by $200 billion, increase the size of the workforce at a time when we need to be doing that, and even get a modest increase in the wages of u.s. citizens and natives of the u.s. so we are probably the most robust documentation of the economic impact and the potential economic benefits of immigration reform than at any point maybe in our history. yet the obstacles of doing what's right for the country and for the economy remain considerable. the debate over this particular round of immigration reform has been going on for over 15 years, and it's not yet clear how long it will continue, so i can't dig in at this moment to the political problem that keeps this debate stuck, but i do want to point out another aspect of its stuckness, if that's a word, which i don't think is getting enough policy attention. one day hopefully soon, we're going to get back to the
legislative debate about immigration reform. and we run the very serious risk of repeating the same basic elements of the debate we've been having for 20 to 30 years, and that includes, and appropriately so, what goes on at the u.s.-mexico border. but the border and who crosses the border is not what it was 10, 20, 30 years ago. and we're having a policy debate that attempts to solve the problem with the '80s or the '90s or the oughts, but not the border we find ourselves with now in 2016 and beyond. there are two things that are different. the number of people crossing and the nature of migration. this is not the border of the bush administration or the clinton administration. quickly, first numbers. the number of people who cross every year is relatively low. it's near its lowest point from over the last 40 years. one indicator of that is the number of people apprehended at the border, which is low.
but the second is the number of undocumented people living in the united states. that number has stabilized. that was just documented this week. the undocumented population stopped growing in the united states during this administration. that's new. fewer people are coming. which is not to say that we don't have substantial challenges at the border because we do, which gets to the second thing which is different right now and that is the nature of migration at the u.s.-mexico border. it remains -- the challenge remains apprehending people who are trying to give us the slip, particularly from mexico, but that's a much smaller challenge proportionally and numerically than has been before, and the border patrol is now facing and managing people who come across and turn themselves in. that's also new. it's an entirely new phenomenon and it's happening from mostly central america. to a certain extent from haiti and other points in the americas. as an administration, we've grappled with this by doing four basic things. by sheltering, doing a better
job of sheltering unaccompanied minors who cross the border, by increasing resources when congress is cooperative for legal representation for immigration, judges for asylum officers, by investing we sources and in this case congress did cooperate, particularly in central america, to address the reasons people are migrating in the first place, and by setting up new programs in the region to process people who qualify as refugees directly from the communities that they come from and providing places for them to go. most recently costa rica made this announcement to go to a safe place if they face danger. these are new strategies. this is again, new. so these are new strategies. with the exception of the $750 million we got from congress to help address the situation in central america, we are frequently executing these new strategies with funds that we find under the proverbial sofa cushions. i raise this because what you're
doing here today contributes very importantly to the debate that we hope to have soon to address our immigration challenges. and if we're going to have a serious debate and capitalize on the economic opportunity that comes with immigration reform, it would be really helpful to have a debate about the border which we are actually facing right now, a debate that actually addresses the challenges that we see rather than the ones we faced 10, 20, and 30 years ago when the rhetoric kind of locked itself in. the issues are different. the conversations should be different, too. so the bottom line here is that like too many debates in this town, this one gets rooted in a lot of mythology, a lot of emotion. the economic facts, even by eminent scholars are frequently ignored or disbelieved as are the facts about what happens on the border, but as a policymaker i don't sit in the room with
myths, even not with emotions so much. we do our best to address the actual challenges that we are facing. we document them. we quantify them, and we even dare to measure the results. and when congress gets back to addressing this issue in a serious way, it's worth insisting that they do the same thing. so, with that, i thank you so much for taking on this conversation, for engaging in it in what i hope will be a sustained way because the contributions of thinkers and doers are incredibly important. thank you for letting me be a part of it, and i'm happy to take a few questions. >> thank you. everyone, please join me in thanking cecilia. there's another cecilia munoz on twitter. a whole bunch of tweets going to different folks. >> @cecilia44. >> that's right. not the one i just used a few minutes ago. yes. anyway, we have time for a couple of questions so let me
start back in the middle of the room. yes. sorry. i'll get there. >> cecilia, you might remember me from 100 years ago. when you were at loraza. i was interested in the other issue of the border, our northern border. i know we both come from michigan. the question for me is, why are we so concerned with only the southern border when we have a basically totally open border with canada, and nobody seems to be concerned about immigration coming from there. >> so it's a fair question. i will say that at least speaking for the agency, for dhs, they are concerned about and work on both borders. the mass of personnel is obviously on the southern border, the u.s./mexico border. numerically speaking, personnel is there because that's where the biggest challenges are, but
that's not to say that there aren't challenges and issues at the northern border. i grew up near the border with canada in detroit. as a policy matter, we deal with both. you're right that the debate tends to focus on one, and we do have challenges there that are reasonable to debate. >> i want to make sure we have a chance to bring a couple people in. i'm going to ask two people to make a comment and then you can respond to the themes from those two. why don't we start there, and then we'll go there. let me get the mic there. i apologize for pointing. >> rachel. i'm a graduate student specializing on immigration policy at gw. thank you for the talk. i'm one of those comedians that you should worry about. >> there you go. >> you talked about how the border is changing, and there's some haitians coming. can you elaborate on that? because haiti is on the other end of the world, so why are they coming through the mexico border?
>> this actually just hit the news yesterday. so there are folks who left haiti and went to brazil. brazil has provided visas for haitians since the earthquake, which was six years ago. and for reasons that are still a little bit mysterious, some number have come all the way from there to san diego. and so what got announced yesterday by dhs was essentially a renewed effort to apply the same rules and policies to that population that we apply to anybody else who crosses the border and to frankly send a clear message to folks as we have with central americans that the border is not open. obviously, if folks have asylum claims and other humanitarian concerns, we take those seriously and address them, but dhs announced yesterday it will detain and remove the folks that they find unless those humanitarian considerations apply.
>> i think i agree dealing with -- but i don't agree they deal with emotions. i have met immigrants. with no documents. i found there is a pain that needs to be healed. they need to practice humanity to find a solution to the problem. practicing humanity needs emotion. >> sure. that's a fair point. i guess i would draw the distinction in a slightly different way, but i don't think it means that we disagree with each other. when i say the debate gets emotional, part of what i mean is that we drive away from the facts, from what we know, from what the economic evidence shows, for example. and some of this debate gets driven by fear.
when i say we don't necessarily bring emotion into the policy making process, that's not to say we don't bring our values into the policy making process. that's where i think you and i are probably more aligned than not. look, we are -- and i can never be as eloquent as my boss. we're a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. we balance those things and we -- neither the president nor i believe that those things have to be in conflict. we are who we are because of this history, and that's also our future. it's part of what makes us unique on the planet. it's part of what makes us strong. that we absolutely bring into the policy making process. that informed our work on immigration reform. it informs our work on the border, it informed the enforcement priorities that the president put forward. it certainly informed our work in creating for the first time
in working with others refugee processing in the hemisphere because there's an incredibly dangerous situation in central america. so i agree with you that we have to apply values. i guess with respect to policy making, as again the conversation today richly shows, there's just a very big gulf between what we know, what the evidence shows, and the direction that the debate often takes. you know, this isn't the only debate in which we struggle hard to make sure that the facts actually drive policy making. i think that's tremendously important. >> so i think i'm going to try to bring it to a close, and i just wanted to kind of knit a comment that you made in an earlier discussion today and talk about the work we all want to do going forward. you talked about the administration's efforts to encourage the welcoming cities and the immigrant integration. we heard this morning from the panel about the values of economic -- to economic growth that bring and also some of the challenges for communities as
they are dealing with immigrant populations in their communities in the near term. but we also understand there are ways in which we can help to -- ensure that we achieve some of the economic benefits and barriers that we can remove to increase and enrich our capacity to get the value of immigrant integration. so one of the things i know my colleagues at usc and urban are interested in exploring are figuring out, what are the things that work. and what are the things that help to ensure the immigrants who come here are able to take advantage of the richness of this and are able to contribute back to our economy and to the communities that they live in. and particularly, by looking at that in places, i think, and sort of looking at it city by city and state by state and finding where those best practices are where we're able
to help make sure the potential described in the report is achieved and that some -- we can avoid some of the costs that so many people seem to feel. with that, i want to thank everyone for spending your patience this morning. i hope you found it as extraordinary a conversation as i did. thank you cecilia, for your participation and encouragement in this work and for everyone who worked three years hard on the national academies panel for there terrific contribution to this discussion. thanks, everybody. [ applause ] >> both presidential candidates are campaigning in florida today. hillary clinton will be joined
by former vice president al gore at a rally in miami. we'll have that for you at 3:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. a little bit later donald trump is in panama city speaking to supporters. live coverage 8:30 eastern on companion network c-span2. c-span debate coverage north carolina governor pat mccrory and democrat challenger roy cooper, see that live on c-span. c-span2 lieutenant governor bill cole is seeking governorship. he'll debate his democratic opponent businessman jim justice. fir nebraska's second district race. state race at 7:00 on c-span networks. at a debate yesterday senator john mccain elaborated on his announcement that he's pulling
his support for donald trump. here is what he had to say. >> first of all, kye mention that i agree with congresswoman about importance of infrastructureth infrastructure. that's why i got ikts 11 that will have a corridor from southern border to canada. i appreciate congresswoman kirkpatrick's amendment i got in the bill. i'm in the arena, if something wants to say something disparaging of me i understand that. i don't understand it when it's said about other men and some women who have been in prison. i did not like it. i spoke out strongly against it. i spoke out strongly on several other issues where i thought that mr. trump was absolutely wrong. i've not been shy about it. the son of a khan family, a man who literally sacrificed his life to save others as he approached an ied, all of those
things i thought were very wrong. but then when mr. trump attacks women and did he means the women in our nation and in our society, that is a point where i just have to part company. it's not pleasant for me to renounce the nominee of my party. he won the nomination fair and square. this is -- i have daughters. i have friends. i have so many wonderful people on my staff. they cannot be degraded and demeaned in that fashion. so i believe that i had to withdraw my support just as i cannot support hillary clinton. >> c-span created by america's cable television companies and brought to you as a public service by cable or satellite provider. >> the head of u.s. immigration and enforcement sarah sole dana
declare a recess of the committee at any time. we welcome everyone to this morning's hearing on oversight of u.s. immigration and customs enforcement and i'll begin by recognizing myself for an opening statement. u.s. immigration and customs enforcement, ice is enforced with the laws of this nation. its mission statement is to protect america from cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety. its website statutes and touts smart immigration enforcement and combating the illegal movement of people and goods. this sounds like an agency committed to every resource protecting the american public. yet under the policies of this president safety and security of americans appear to be far less important than so-called immigration enforcement
priorities which result in hundreds of thousands of unlawfully present and criminal aliens remaining in our communities. smart enforcement does not include -- excuse me -- allowing nearly 370,000 known convicted criminal aliens to walk the streets and defies common sense to designate removal aliens arrested for serious crimes as low priorities because they have not yet been convicted. they remain threats to the public despite lack of conviction. anything that for theifies in advance will not be prosecuted is unacceptable. how is that smart enforcement when offenders know there are no consequences for unlawful actions. it only encourages similar conduct by others. i.c.e. cannot combat illegal immigration by refusing to arrest those who have knowingly violated our immigration laws or by releasing over 86,000
criminal aliens. these are not policies that protect americans and help secure our borders. during the last oversight hearing april 2016 director saldana testified i.c.e. released 30,558 criminal aliens in fiscal year 2014 and those had combined total of 79,059 criminal convictions associated with them. the committee recently learned from a source that the number of convictions associated with those aliens increased substantially to more than 92,000. i.c.e. now admitted it nus of 13,000 convictions at the time director saldana and before the committee. i look forward to hearing the director's explanation for the difference between what she told us then and what was known to the agency since the data demonstrates these criminal aliens pose an even greater threat to safety than was
represented to the committee. specifically there were 17% more convictions for homicide related offenses. 22% more for robbery, 27% more for sexual assaults, 17% more for aggravated assaults and 11% more for domestic violence assaults. it raises serious questions whether i.c.e. essentialally distorted the true nature of these threats to congress and the american public. for the families of those killed by criminal aliens, those like kate signally, marilyn ferris, casey sadwick, assurances of false enforcement ring hollow. sadly the number of victims continues to increase. also despite clear indications policies are placing americans at greater risk, the president's budget request for fiscal year 2017 asks for $138 million less
to detain and remove aliens next year. and remove aliens next year. and, worse, last year i.c.e. gave back $113 million in funds that had been specifically appropriated for detention and removal purposes. consistent with his policy of nonenforcement, the president also requested $23 million less for the fugitive operations program in fiscal year 2017. fugitive operations officers must locate and arrest criminal aliens, often in a high threat environment after they have been released back into the community by sanctuary jurisdictions. with more than 300 sanctuary jurisdictions nationwide, there are more than enough removable criminal aliens to warrant the additional $23 million in funding for this important enforcement program. this administration's failure to allocate resources to critical program areas that directly impact i.c.e.'s ability to keep criminal aliens off the street belies any assertion that public safety is a primary concern.
i want to thank director saldana for appearing here today. i look forward to your testimony and to your responses to the questions i have outlined, as well as the concerns and questions of other members of this committee. thank you very much. it's now my pleasure to recognize the ranking member of the committee, the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, for his opening statement. >> thank you chairman goodlatte. and i begin by thanking director sarah saldana for her service and appearing before the committee today. as head of the united states immigration and customs enforcement, director saldana has one of the most challenging jobs in government. with limited resources, she must ensure that our immigration statutes are enforced as well as ensure that this is done in a fair, just and balanced way. for that reason, the department
of homeland security's enforcement priorities recognize that millions of unauthorized immigrants have been living and working in the united states for five or ten years or longer. these men and women are parents of united states citizen children, pray at our churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship and make significant contributions to our economy. their removal is not and should not be an enforcement priority. we're here today to first examine how our immigration laws are enforced, and how this enforcement affects our communities. as we conduct this examination, however, we must keep in mind that many of the challenges
faced by i.c.e. and immigrant communities are a result of congress' failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform. yet we are now in the waning days of the current congress which will soon adjourn without having a justice failure, even though every day families continue to be separated and hardworking members of our society are forced to live in the shadows. despite all the challenges, the majority continues to focus exclusively on immigration enforcement that would criminalize entire communities. the republican presidential nominee advocates policies based on the abhorrent 1950s program