The anti-immigrant mood is spurred by arguments that immigrants are committing crimes, devouring welfare (while taking our jobs), and refusing to learn English. Most of these assertions are untrue. Of course, there are valid arguments for limiting illegal immigration. First, it's illegal, which should mean something in a nation of laws. Second, all nations must be able to control their borders.
I happen to think immigrants are good for the United States. Immigrants throughout American history have come here to work hard and provide for their families. They are here for the economic opportunity. They are here for the American dream. Immigrants also happen to be good for state governments' bottom line.
In a report, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy says immigrants who entered the country illegally paid roughly $11.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2013. The report says these immigrants paid about $2 million in Montana and more than $3.6 billion in California. The point is that immigrants are contributing to the public fisc. They are working.
More significantly, the institute found that if the millions of immigrants who entered the country illegally were granted legal status, the taxes they would pay would increase by about $2.1 billion. I have written about this before. Legal status requires some kind of amnesty or forgiveness. Before you shrug that off, remember that their crime is wanting to be us. Also, and more practically, these 11 million immigrants are not leaving, and there is no mechanism for getting them out. They are cutting our grass, cleaning our houses, and working on our farms. They are also contributing to financing our government. I think that is a good thing.