The Next NYC Mayor’s Biggest Economic Challenge: Promoting Equitable Growth

August 12, 2013. “Promoting Equitable Growth” was the answer FPI’s James Parrott gave to the question, “What is the biggest economic challenge facing the next mayor of New York City?” Parrott’s response appeared recently in The New York Times’ “Room for Debate” on-line feature. Noting that income polarization is “America’s greatest challenge,” Parrott proposed that “The next mayor needs to infuse a growth agenda with recognition that more New Yorkers should share in the prosperity that results when individual efforts are combined with socially created building blocks for growth.” Parrott continued, “City Hall should provide the leadership to show that reducing poverty, raising low wages, enhancing economic security and expanding opportunities are not only compatible with growth but a necessary by-product.”

JobsFirstNYC Community-Based Organization Meeting

July 23, 2013, Manhattan. JobsFirstNYC hosts their quarterly Community-Based Organization (CBO) Network meeting. The agenda will include discussion around the New York City budget, what the next administration is poised to inherit and what the workforce development agenda should look like. James Parrott, the deputy director and chief economist at the Fiscal Policy Institute, will be there to present on this topic. Register here.

JobsFirstNYC’s  CBO Meetings are standing, quarterly events convened for front-line, managerial, senior, and executive staff who work in organizations committed to assisting older young adults access the labor  market and post-secondary options through workforce and educational  services.

Date:  Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Time: 9:00am-11:30am


Macaulay Honors College at CUNY
35 West 67th Street
Lecture Hall – Main Floor
New York, NY 10023

How Immigration Reform Could Help Black Workers

July 15, 2013. An ABCNews-Univision story looks at the impact of immigration reform on black workers, citing work and commentary from the Fiscal Policy Institute.

David Dyssegaard Kallick, a senior fellow at the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI), looked at the economic impact of immigrants in a 2010 report focused on Long Island, New York…

Among the social challenges to African American men who did not go to college, immigration would come below a long list of other concerns, from high incarceration rates to racial discrimination in the workplace. But, I would not discount the notion that even a modest negative effect on a group that already faces many hurdles is worth paying attention to.

Insulting a Poem, and our Heritage (A Daily News Op-Ed)

July 14, 2013. In an op-ed for the Daily News, by David Dyssegaard Kallick takes on the ways Emma Lazarus’s famous poem (“give me your tired, your poor…”) has distorted in recent media stories about immigration, and brings the debate back to America’s roots.

“Give me your tired, your poor . . . If there’s room after more Ph.D.s,” is the headline from a recent article in TechCrunch, which goes on to explain Congress’ “awe-inspiring consensus over its support for high-skilled immigrants.” What we really want today, some say, is not people yearning to be free, but highly skilled people yearning to work temporarily in America.

Sorry, but why the focus on Ph.D.s? And, why the temporary visas? Less well-educated immigrants have made major contributions to the American economy. The majority of immigrant small-business owners in the United States, for example, do not have a college degree — as is also true for U.S.-born small-business owners.

Republicans Give Immigrants a Reality Check on Expecting Immigration Reform

July 14, 2013. New York Daily News cites the Report done by Taxation and Economic Policy and Fiscal Policy Institute regarding the possible tax contribution to the states if there is an immigration reform.

A report released Wednesday by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy in Washington, DC, and the Fiscal Policy Institute in Manhattan estimates that legalizing undocumented immigrants, who currently pay $744 million in state and local taxes, would increase that figure by $224 million.

“It’s reassuring to see that (reform ) would also provide a modest boost to state and local tax revenues — and, more importantly, would improve tax compliance so that all families are paying their fair share,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative.

Analysis: Immigrant Status Change Could Mean Millions in Tax Revenue for NY

July 10, 2013. A Newsday article covers the release of a great new report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy report about how legalizing undocumented immigrants would affect state and local tax revenues. The ITEP report builds on work ITEP did with the Fiscal Policy Institute around our report on how immigration reform would boost productivity.

David Dyssegaard Kallick, immigration research director at the Fiscal Policy Institute, said there is no better alternative than for all those immigrants to become taxpayers.

“As long as we make sure we don’t create a new undocumented population, legalizing the people already here is the right thing to do,” Kallick said, “and it’s also a positive development for the government treasury.”

White House report: immigration reform significantly boosts economy

July 10, 2013. NBC-Latino reports on a White House study about the benefits of immigration reform, citing FPI data.

The report also points out that immigrants already in the U.S. make a case for immigration’s economic benefits: a 2007 study by the Fiscal Policy Institute found that immigrant-owned small businesses generated about $776 billion in receipts and employed about 4.7 million people.

White House Plays Offense: Says Immigration Reform Will Turbocharge Entrepreneurship

July 10, 2013. A news article in Entrepreneur covers the release of a new report from the White House, which cites Fiscal Policy Institute data about small business owners.

Immigrants are more likely to be entrepreneurs than U.S. natives: Immigrants and their children have founded Google, Disney, Procter & Gamble and 40 percent of America’s 500 largest companies, the report says. Immigrants, typically motivated to improve their standing in life, are more than two times as likely to start businesses than those born in the U.S., the White House report says, citing the 2012 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. Immigrant-owned small-businesses generated a total of $776 billion in revenue and employed approximately 4.7 million people in 2007, according to a report from the Fiscal Policy Institute, cited in the White House report.

The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System

July 10, 2013. The Executive Office of the President issued a new report on the economic benefits of immigration reform, including several references to Fiscal Policy Institute studies, among them:

A study by the Fiscal Policy Institute found that in 2007, immigrant-owned small businesses generated a total of $776 billion in receipts and employed an estimated 4.7 million people.


New Report Models Immigration Reform’s Effect on State and Local Taxes

July 10, 2013. This morning, the Institute on Economic and Tax Policy (ITEP) released a report that estimates that unauthorized immigrants currently pay $744 million in state and local taxes in New York State, a number that would increase to $968 million if these same immigrants were granted legal status. The share of family income paid in state and local taxes would increase from 7.1 percent to 8.4 percent.

In this new report, ITEP takes an analysis it first did for the Fiscal Policy Institute’s recent report, Three Ways Immigration Reform Would Make the Economy More Productive, and extends it to all 50 states. At the same time, ITEP refines the methodology used in the FPI report, giving more accurate estimates for the taxes paid by unauthorized immigrants in New York State today, and those that would be paid if those same people gained legal status under immigration reform.

Reasons for the higher tax revenues are straightforward.

First, legal immigrants earn more money than unauthorized immigrants. They can less readily be taken advantage of by employers, allowing them to demand fair pay for the work they do. They can more readily move from job to job, finding the most productive employment fit. And, they are more likely to invest in their own education and English language skills, allowing them to advance in their careers. Studies of immigrants who gained legal status after the 1986 immigration reform bill, as well as more recent econometric studies, allow us to gauge that wage increase at about 10 percent. (Details of this analysis are in FPI’s report, Three Ways Immigration Reform Would Make the Economy More Productive.) Higher earnings translate into higher taxes paid on sales taxes, property taxes (whether paid directly or through rent), and income taxes.

Second, immigrants with legal status will pay the same income taxes as everyone else. Currently, about half of unauthorized immigrants file income tax returns. Under immigration reform, newly legalized immigrants would have the same tax compliance rates as other New Yorkers.

Third, for newly legalized immigrants, income taxes paid will more than offset the Earned Income Tax Credit. The estimated cost of legalization to New York State’s Earned Income Tax Credit system would be $30 million, an amount that is easily offset by the $224 million in added tax revenues. (Unauthorized immigrants are not eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, but ITEP and FPI assume that newly legalized immigrants will be.)

The picture is similar around the country: legalization of unauthorized immigrants would be a benefit to state and local tax revenues. Referring to numbers from around the United States, Matthew Gardner, ITEP’s executive director, said: “We know that undocumented immigrants already pay six or seven percent of their income in state and local taxes, simply because they buy things and they rent or own homes, and sales and property taxes are paid automatically. With legalization, both wages and tax compliance will go up, resulting in substantial new revenues for states, especially from the income tax.”

David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative, added: “There are many important reasons to pass immigration reform—it would improve productivity in the economy and address some serious problems in the low-wage labor market. It’s reassuring to see that it would also provide a modest boost to state and local tax revenues—and, more importantly, would improve tax compliance so that all families are paying their fair share.”

The report released today improves on the methodology of the analysis in the Fiscal Policy Institute’s June 4 report in three ways. Most significantly, today’s report accounts for the state-by-state variation in wages for unauthorized immigrants; the FPI report used a national median. Today’s report also uses the average family income rather than the median family income, a more appropriate basis for estimating tax revenues. Finally, the report incorporates an estimate, developed by the Pew Hispanic Center, that about 20 percent of unauthorized immigrants live in families that own their homes. This affects the calculation of property taxes paid, since the ITEP tax model assumes that 50 percent of property taxes are passed through to renters, while property owners bear 100 percent of the property tax.