States weigh up costs of immigration reform

As the United States awaits the decision by the Supreme Court as to whether President Barack Obama exceeded his authority by making an executive decision to protect millions of undocumented immigrant parents and grant them work permits, the states are trying to calculate what the costs of the decision will be for them, whatever the result turns out to be.

Regardless of the decision, states are divided on whether immigration reform would hurt or help them in economic terms. A new study from the National Research Center in regards to Hispanic Children & Families suggests that one in four children who are Hispanic have at least one parent who is an undocumented immigrant, though even if the new deferred action gets the go-ahead only parents with no criminal convictions and who have been in the United States since 2010 will be eligible.

If the Supreme Court strikes down the policy, however, then many parents of children who have citizenship could potentially be deported, causing concern about the possible impact on families, which was one of the arguments used by in court by Donald Verrilli, the US Solicitor General.

Texas, on the other hand, believes that the state will have to find millions of dollars in order to give driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, in addition to the extra financial burden on health care, law enforcement, unemployment benefits and education. Lawyers for other states such as Washington refute this argument, claiming that DAPA would actually benefit the states financially, allowing parents to bring in more revenue and thus pay more taxes.