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Pro-Immigration Group's Study Contends Immigrants Don't Impact Unemployment

Publication Date: 
May 20, 2009
The Salt Lake Tribune
Sheena Mcfarland

Lecturer in Law and Associate Dean for Executive Education and Special Programs Dan Siciliano is quoted in The Salt Lake Tribune in an article about a study conducted by the Center for Immigration Policy that contends that immigration rates have no direct effect on unemployment rates:

"The level of unemployment in the U.S. is painful, sometimes scary and very difficult for those directly impacted," said Dan Siciliano, executive director of the Program in Law, Economics and Business at Stanford Law School and a research fellow for the Washington, D.C.-based center. "But the notion that immigration is causally related to unemployment belittles and questions the challenges of unemployment."


The center conducted the research in response to anti-illegal immigration groups blaming immigrants for high unemployment. The study's author cites unemployment rates that are about the same in the Pacific states and the East North Central states, although the rate of incoming "recent immigrants" --those arriving within the past 10 years -- is significantly higher in California than in Illinois.


The study's author say immigrant populations are inherently more mobile, which means they can move to where the jobs are.

"You're not going to round up laid-off workers in Michigan and put them on buses to agricultural fields in California," Siciliano said. "Having autoworkers picking lettuce is an absurd story."