Illegal Immigrants: Helping or Hurting Us? New Study Is Released
A group trying to get federal immigration laws changed is out with a new study and it says illegal immigrants are doing a lot for the state of Nebraska.
But as FOX 42 News uncovered those fighting to make immigration laws tougher say that study is wrong.
Some people are saying illegal immigrants are actually costing Nebraska's taxpayers millions of dollars, about $252 million to be exact.
Doug Kagan, president of Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom says this statistic comes from a study done by the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Kagan says that study claims illegal immigrants cause a deficit in Nebraska.
Kagan said, "We found it was very flawed."
Kagan is talking about a new report called "The Contributions of New Americans in Nebraska." He can't believe how it was put together.
"They really didn't differentiate between legal aliens and illegal aliens, so when they say that immigrants contribute to the Nebraska economy that's probably true, but it's the legal immigrants contributing."
The report was put out by a group that wants to loosen immigration laws. The report claims that in 2014 illegal immigrants in Nebraska earned more than $500 million. About $60 million went to local, state, and federal taxes.
Kagan said, "A lot of them work under the radar and get cash under the table, so they're not paying taxes...there's illegal alien gangs so there's law enforcement costs there, millions of dollars. They have to go to court. There's court costs."
But Jim Partington has a different opinion on illegal immigrants.
"Contrary to the belief of some people they do pay taxes including social security taxes."
Partington is the executive director of the Nebraska Restaurant Association.
While he says he doesn't support illegal immigration he says "most economists will tell you that immigration of all kinds benefits the economy of the receiving country."
As the new report states illegal immigrants help fill a lot of jobs in different industries.
Partington said, "Most of these folks are working. They're contributing to the economy."
Kagan agrees, but only if they're here legally. He says if they're not they're just causing more harm than good.
Kagan said, "The illegal aliens, they take more from the economy than they contribute."
Both Partington and Kagan say they want to see immigration reform.
Partington says he supports comprehensive reform. Kagan wants to see a mandatory e-verify law passed which would screen out illegal aliens and they wouldn't be able to get jobs.
The new study and campaign "Reason for Reform" was launched nationwide on Wednesday.