Immigration Policy in California Has a Positive Impact

Subject: Political
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 11
Word count: 2762
Topics: Immigration, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics


The immigration policy in California has a positive impact on the state. It encompasses many aspects including the certification process when the illegal immigrant is helpful, the inclusion of the illegal immigrants in the medical program, and the legal requirement for the law enforcement to develop systems by 2018 to prevent biased profiling. The other immigration policy element is the deletion of the term alien from the California labor code. Also, the other immigration policy that will accrue many benefits to the California state’s socio-economic development is the inclusion of the non-citizens in high school as election poll workers. Immigration policy in California has a positive impact on the socio-economic development of the State.    


Past influx of immigrants into California

The immigration issue has been featured in the Californian policy framework for a long time given the influx of many immigrants into the state over the last three decades. According to Johnson, one in four Californian state residents was an immigrant in the late 90’s, which represented for 80 million immigrants in the state during that period. The high rate of job creation during the 1980’ is attributed to the high influx of immigrants in California. This notwithstanding, the claims that the high influx of immigrant’s culminated to a reduction in the job opportunities for the American natives is true. The other issue that has been associated with the immigrants in the last three decades is the lowering of wages because of the high supply of labor. Additionally, immigration was considered to be the cause of the high rate of high school drop-outs. The school-drop-outs were associated with the high number of the native students who were discouraged by the high rate of unemployment of their fellow natives. Consequently, dropping school learning was their best alternative. 

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Immigration effect on Natives employment 

The immigration led to the withdrawal of various natives from the labor force because of one reason or the other. However, skills determined employment, hence the immigrants were skilled compared to the Natives in some cases, thus secured jobs while their counterparts were laid off. For this reason, immigrants played a critical role of knowledge transfer and outsourcing in various Californian industries. Although immigration is no in sync with the needs of the Californian state economy, immigrants are valuable in various aspects of socio-economic life in California. According to Fogel and Philip, most immigrants are not learned although the emancipation decree required that services be offered to all and sundry regardless of creed, race or religion. The fact that immigrants do not pay tax is an indication that the immigrants have not been fully incorporated into the Californian system. The low rate of tax compliance is attributed to the meager salaries and wages that the majority of the immigrants earn. Additionally, the low rate of taxation is also attributed to the country of origin of the immigrants and education level besides the admission category of the immigrants. The previous policy on the influx of immigrants was lenient, hence the high influx of immigrants into California. 

Skill-based versus family relationship-based immigrant admission

This notwithstanding, there has been an immigration public overhaul aimed at considerable reduction of the immigrant influx. The initiative is aimed at the acceptance of immigrants based on their skills and family relations. The immigration rate increase of California was at its peak between 1960 and 1995 whereby it increased by 6.7M over the entire period. This is a manifestation of the value attached to the immigrants during the entire period. Additionally, the high rate of immigration is an indication of the flexibility of the immigration laws of California. 


Immigrant minor medical program

California State has drafted a policy, which is aimed at embracing the immigrants. According to Linthicum, the state has set aside more than $40M to offer healthcare coverage under the medical program to children under the age of 19 years. This is a positive move because the initiative is a manifestation of the state’s commitment to the welfare of the illegal immigrant children in California. The initiative is a crucial milestone towards social development in the state because the children are guaranteeing the same rights as those of the citizens of the US. The initiative enhances social equality and a reduction of racism in the state. 

Certification of immigrants’ criminal investigation assistance

The other immigration policy element pertains to the requirement for the certification in the written form of instances when various illegal immigrants have been helpful in criminal investigations. In this regard, the Californian policy on the immigration is a manifestation of the determination of the state to embrace the disenfranchised illegal immigrants who are usually helpful in various aspects of the economy including social order. The initiative is aimed at guaranteeing the immigrants who prove to be helpful to the state U-visa. Consequently, the immigrants are saved from deportation, hence they continue to make various contributions to the Californian economy.  According to Johnson, the issuance of more than 10000 U-visas annually is a confirmation of the state commitment to the utilization of the immigrants in developing the economy. In fact, various officers were sanctioned to expedite the process of delivering of the U-visa to the qualifying immigrants. The fact that the immigrants have helped in criminal investigations means that the Californian state has benefited from the immigrant in an immense way. The crack-down of criminal elements in the state has been enhanced by the volunteering of the immigrants. In fact, the immigrants testify against criminal despite their lives being subjected to the imminent danger of retaliation. 

Development of law enforcement operations system

The policy requirement for the Californian enforcement agencies to develop a comprehensive system for the collection and reporting data on the people screened, reasons thereof and the outcome of the initiate, is another indication that the state is determined to harness the immigrants resource in the California, US. The motive of such a requirement by the state is to ensure easy tracking of racist actions and consequent discouragement of such malpractices through proper sanctions. The initiative will also ensure that biased profiling of people within the state of California is discouraged and abhorred by all and sundry in a bid to create a suitable society. 

Abolition of the use of ‘alien’ term

The other immigration policy aspect that is aimed at the abolishment of racism and creation of a free and friendly society is the removal of the word ‘alien’ for the Californian labor code, which used to depict all the people not born in the US. The elimination of ‘alien’ term from the California labor code stresses the fact that aliens are creatures from space whereas various undocumented immigrants are normal people who deserve respect, dignity and humane treatment anywhere in the world. The leave of the high school non-citizens to serve as election poll staff is a move towards restoration of equality in the American society and the associated benefits to the state of California. In fact, the initiative will promote democracy given that many non-citizens kids will be free to volunteer to serve the state of California in various jobs including polling. The State’s welfare for the immigrant minor children is a good gesture for the development of the State. The initiative fosters good care for the children among the American citizens. The good care of the teens enhances better utilization of the immigrant youths in the development of the State economy and maintenance of order. 

Demographical effect of immigration

The immigration policy has encouraged the influx of more immigrants, hence boosting the diversity of the State.  Smith asserts that California has immigrants from various regions of the world including Europe, Canada, Central America, Mexico and Asia. The coexistence of all the races and religions in the State is a manifestation of diversity and fostering of human coexistence and socio-economic development. California is the most ethnically and racially diverse State of all the 33 states of the USA. In fact, there is no race that has a majority in the State, which makes it the most diverse and unique state in demographic and cosmopolitan perspective. The increase in population in California is driven by the high rate of immigration influx. A case in point, the State accounted for 2.7% of the entire population of the US in 1995 while its immigrant population accounted for 12.1% of the entire immigrant population in the US. The immigrants have played a major role in the California economy given that they have compelled their native counterparts to solely rely on the education for their livelihood. This has boosted the enrollment of the natives in various institutions of learning, hence boosting the literacy level among the natives and the associated benefits of literacy in the California economy.     

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Economic effect of immigration

The immigration policy will boost the literacy levels of the immigrants because there is a high disparity between the natives and the immigrants. The immigration policy is aimed at improving the literacy and the economic opportunities of the immigrants. A high number of literate immigrants will translate to a stimulation of the economy and a consequent reduction in crime given that there is a correlation between a high rate of illiteracy and occurrence of crime. However, the high number of illiterate immigrants is attributed to the Mexico and Central America immigrants whose literacy levels are normally low compared to the immigrants from other regions of the world. According to Fogel and Philip, California’s immigration policy, which favors the influx of immigration and embrace of immigrants, is a positive step towards the influx of skilled manpower into the State. The other positive element of California immigration policy is that it increases the number of skilled labor given that most immigrants are willing to study various courses. Upon their graduation, the State is abundant of skilled manpower, which boosts the State’s economy and the US economy by extension. The initiative will resolve the huge number of the unskilled immigrants in California. The high immigrant illiterates end up missing jobs because of low English language proficiency and young age. This gives the immigrants leverage over their native’s counterparts. The other issue pertains to the common notion that the appearance of immigrants in any industry is an indication of productivity and growth prospects. This has given the immigrants a good reputation with regard to their productivity and reliability in production firms. In fact, the immigrants play a pivotal role in the economic opportunities requiring less educated people. The other perspective is that the immigrants do not directly affect the job prospects of the natives in California because most immigrants are not degree holders. However, the immigrants boost the job prospects of the native who are degree holders. The trend of the 1980’s of non-skilled native job drop-out is still manifest in the modern scenario of California job dynamics. This is a reflection of the value of the immigrants and the timeliness of the California immigration policy. The employers are also attracted to the immigrants because they are likely to have successful job negotiations than the natives. By and large, the employment in California has favored the immigrants for a long time. This notwithstanding, the State has been compelled to undertake down-skilling. Although the high influx of the immigrants into the State has a negative effect on the long-run social-economic sustainability, the immigrants are indispensable in the prosperity of the State given their attractive labor supply. The State’s immigration policy embraces the immigrants given that tuition, healthcare driver’s license, legal and rights protection are guaranteed to the more than three million undocumented immigrants. In fact, cities such as San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco have drafted Sanctuary City laws, which protect the welfare of the immigrants. By and large, immigration spurs the Californian economy in various forms. Although most immigrants are not degree holders, they are concentrated in innovative and entrepreneurial ventures, which stimulate the economy. Besides, the immigrants form part of the majorities of consumers of the products and services. Additionally, immigrants are also students in various learning institutions. Consequently, they are able to boost the literacy levels in the State because the learning immigrants encourage their fellow kinsmen to learn and be enrolled in various institutions of learning. In the long-run, the immigration is a crucial component of the Californian economy.

Fiscal effect of immigration

 The fiscal effects of the immigration policy are also huge because the immigrants contribute huge cumulative tax to the State given that they are the most desired employees according to the California employers. The fact that welfare costs reduce tax is an added advantage for the thousands of the immigrants. In fact, such a fiscal realty boosts the disposable income for the immigrants. The immigration policy effect on the welfare of the citizens is good because the deficit of taxation revenue and expenditure is high among the immigration. This means that the citizens are not overburdened with the State’s fiscal requirements. According to Linthicum, a high consumption of public services is a determinant of the state’s ability to sustain its populace. For this reason, the welfare cost of the immigrants should not be construed to be a burden for California.  

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Effect of immigration on the California labor market 

The immigration policy has positive impact on the State economy because the immigrant provides cheap labor for various industries, hence boosting the productivity of the firms. This is because the cost of labor is usually the most critical determinant of the profitability of a firm. The competition between the expensive native’s labor and the cheap immigrant labor is healthy for various businesses in California. Furthermore, there is neither no basic difference between the values of the immigrant nor natives labor force. There is a cordial relationship between the employers and the immigrants because of the agreement on low labor compensation. According to Linthicum, the cheap labor cost is a source of economic stimulation because the profitability encourages supply of goods and services at a considerably low cost, hence boosting the economy despite the reduction in the disposable income. There is a need for the increase in the number of skills-based admission of immigrants compared to the family relationship-based admission of immigrants into the State. The move will ensure that the State benefits for the influx of the immigrants besides boosting the state’s sustainability of its economy through offer of cheap labor. In fact, the maximum immigration admission should be subject to the admission criteria. There is a need for exclusive consideration of Mexico immigrants because of the situation of the country with regard to low literacy levels and economic levels. There is a need to make the immigration flexible to maintain diversity and high supply of cheap labor. The positive effect of immigrants in the Californian economy is based on the quality of the immigrants admitted. For this reason, it is plausible to admit immigrants from countries, whose literacy levels are high and have vibrant economies such as China and Singapore. 


The immigration policy in California accrues many benefits to the State. The immigration policy framework embraces the immigrants given the value of the immigrant labor, crime investigation assistance, boosting of competition in the job market, boost of innovation and entrepreneurship and boosting productivity. The requirement system development of collection and analysis of data of people screened, and reasons and conclusion of such cases, underscores the State’s commitment for immigrant productivity. The immigration policy favors the immigrants because the inclusion of immigrant minors in the medical program promotes equality in the State. The immigration department is focused on streamlining its admission towards the increase of skilled manpower in the State. The initiative will reduce the number of unskilled manpower, which is considerably expensive to sustain.     

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  1. Fogel, Walter A, and Philip L. Martin. Immigration, California’s Economic Stake. Berkeley: Published for the California Policy Seminar [by] Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2012. Print.
  2. Johnson, Hans P. Undocumented Immigration to California, 1980-1993. San Francisco, CA: Public Policy Institute of California, 2015. Print.
  3. Linthicum, Kate. “Immigration action will boost California’s economy, White House says.” Los Angeles Times, 2015.
  4. Roth, Mitchel P. Crime and Punishment: A History of the Criminal Justice System. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
  5. Smith, James P. The New Americans: Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration. Washington, D.C: National Acad. Press. 2014, Print.
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