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Immigrants — more economic impact than NAFTA

18 January 2007

The “other” David Brooks (not the New York Times columnist, who is generally opposed to immigratin), but the one who writes for Jornada, and isn’t as well known, writes today about some startling research from UCLA. 

I can’t find an English translation (if anyone finds one, let me know), and I’m not sure if Brooks writes first in English, then in Spanish, but I know he’s a damn good writer in both languages. I only translated these couple of eye-opening paragraphs:

Using the same methodology employed to measure commerical contributions to the national economy, the reserachers evaluated the economic contribution of immigrants to the GNP, factoring into their analysis the value of remittances sent to the home country.


The annual economic contribution of Mexican immigrants to the United States is a trillion dollars. Immigrants send more than 20 billion dollars back to Mexico every year in remittances. Compared to this, U.S. exports to Mexico totalled 120 billion in 2005, and Mexican exports to the U.S. were 170 billion out of a total of 213 billion in world-wide exports.


Therefore, bilateral commerce falls far below the total contribution of immigrants to the U.S. economy according to numbers presented by Dr. Hinojosa. It also indicates that remittances to Mexico vastly outweigh the total of direct foreign investment.

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