Researchers – including one from an immigration reform advocacy group – testified in a study committee Wednesday about the contributions made to Indiana by people living in the state illegally.
The committee met Wednesday for the fifth of six scheduled meetings.
The study committee up to now has taken testimony largely from people reporting on the negative consequences created BY people living in the state illegally. But the Economic Policy Institute’s Daniel Costa says these immigrants shouldn’t shoulder all the blame.
“Unauthorized immigrant workers aren’t at fault for keeping wages down and conditions deplorable in lower-skilled occupations. They shouldn’t be blamed for that. The fault lies with U.S. employers,” Costa says.
Costa also cites a Social Security Administration study that says these immigrants pay far more into Social Security than they take out, netting billions of dollars in benefit to the program.
Union City, Indiana resident Vincent Hernandez works with people living in the state illegally. He tells the committee there’s little the state can do to solve the problem.
“Only the federal government can appropriately address the illegal immigration issue,” Hernandez says. “We can, however, address the humanitarian issue.”
Hernandez says providing driver’s licenses and in-state college tuition to all immigrants in Indiana will help improve their situation.