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Maryland Immigration Commission Final Report, 2012

Maryland Immigration Commission Final Report, 2012

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Published by Michael Benefiel
Immigrants contribute to the growth of Maryland's economy far more than they consume in public services. The data are clear.
Immigrants contribute to the growth of Maryland's economy far more than they consume in public services. The data are clear.

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Published by: Michael Benefiel on Jul 09, 2012
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 The Impact of Immigrants in MarylandFinal Report
Commission to Study the Impact of Immigrants in MarylandFebruary 8, 2012
 
1
Table of Contents
Commission Background and Activities
......................................................................................2
Commission Findings
.....................................................................................................................7Demographic Situation and Impact .....................................................................................7Economic Impact .................................................................................................................7Fiscal Impact ......................................................................................................................13Immigration Law Enforcement ..........................................................................................15Education and Integration ..................................................................................................16
Conclusions and Recommendations
...........................................................................................18A systematic and bipartisan approach to federal immigration reform isessential for a healthy nation and for Maryland.................................................................18A healthy and growing economy needs immigrants of all types. ......................................18There are many non-economic benefits from immigration. ..............................................19The state and local fiscal cost of unauthorized immigrants is due totheir low-income, and most of these costs cannot be avoided. ..........................................20Programs that enroll local law agencies in enforcing immigration law can work against the interests of Maryland’s communities. Local jurisdictionsshould engage with these programs only under certain conditions. ..................................21While the E-Verify program has some promise in restricting unauthorizedimmigration, its ultimate effectiveness will be largely influenced by thedesign of the overall immigration policy regime. ..............................................................26To insure Maryland’s continued global economic and technical leadership, the statemust redouble its efforts to provide superior education at every level to all youngresidents, including the foreign-born, regardless of immigration status. ...........................31
A Note on Terminology
...............................................................................................................36
 
2
Commission Background and Activities
Immigration policy is increasingly becoming a topic of interest for many people in Maryland andthroughout the nation. With comprehensive immigration reform stalled at the federal level, stateand local officials are being asked to address various issues relating to immigration and, inparticular, the issues surrounding unauthorized immigration. To gain a broader understanding of the economic and fiscal issues surrounding immigration, the General Assembly passed HB 1602(The Act) in June 2008 authorizing the Commission to Study the Impact of Immigrants inMaryland (the Commission) (Chapter 553, Acts of 2008).
 History
Given that the Commission to Study the Impact of Immigrants in Maryland (the Commission)was authorized in 2008, but only formed in 2010, it requested an extension to continue itsdeliberations through 2011. The extension was granted by approval of SB 15 and HB 34(Chapters 174 and 175, Acts of 2011). These acts stipulated that the final report be delivered onor before January 1, 2012. This is the Final Report of the Commission.
 Membership
The membership of the Commission is shown on Table 1. The Commission members donatedsubstantial time and effort. The University of Maryland College Park and the MarylandDepartment of Legislative Services donated personnel time and logistical resources to staff theCommission.
 Mission
The Commission's primary mission is to provide fact-based and objective informationconcerning immigration to Maryland State Delegates and Senators. As outlined in itsauthorizing act, the Commission was also asked to provide policy analysis and recommendationsto the General Assembly. The subject areas originally outlined in the legislation included thedemographic, economic and fiscal impacts of 
immigration
. There is substantial datadocumentation and a large literature of analysis concerning the presence and role of immigrantsin the United States and Maryland.As part of the discussion, the Commission was asked to consider the benefits and costs of 
unauthorized immigration
, including the impacts on income distribution, crime, education, andhealth care. However, the available data for evaluating the effects of unauthorized immigrationis much sparser, and it is therefore much more difficult to provide a reliably accurate assessment.Of related importance, the various measures used to reduce the number of unauthorizedimmigrants also have economic, fiscal and social implications. The Commission believes itsreport would not be complete if it did not explicitly address these issues, especially the need forfactual evidence.

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