If immigration reform is implemented, and newly documented workers start paying taxes, the money flowing into state coffers will increase, as will the demands on state social services.
With immigration reform now firmly on the agendas of both the Senate and White House, a key question is how to assess its possible impact on states, particularly in two of the most important areas, the labor market and fiscal policy.
Who will be the most affected? While every state would feel some effect, the states with the most illegal immigrants are the most obvious to register the impacts of any changes to immigration law. California tops that list with nearly a quarter of the nation’s illegal immigrant population of roughly 11 million.
Ultimately the most significant political impact California would feel would be a slew of new Democratic voters, Steve Camarota, director of research at the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, says with a laugh.