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S&P report indicates immigration does not harm economies

The issue of immigration in the United States is complex. Residents of cities throughout the nation, including Miami, Florida, have their own take on why or why not the current status of U.S. immigration law is an issue. One reason often provided against immigration is the financial burden communities that are home to significant immigrant populations reportedly feel. According to Standard & Poor's, well known issuer of credit ratings, there may be more to this than first meets the eye.

According to a recent S&P report, a majority of the cities throughout the nation that saw immigration levels that are considered "significant" actually experienced improved credit ratings.

The author of the report, senior director in state and local government ratings for S&P, said that overall, the effect of significant immigration to these cities has been to increase economic activity and help stabilize the labor market. Perhaps more importantly, immigration has not caused any cities to see a downgrade in municipal credit ratings.

This conclusion was reached after measuring ratings over a 10 year period, from 2000 to 2010. The cities included in the study were those whose population grew either as a result of the influx of immigrants or migration that was domestic.

Presumably, the benefits of economic activity these cities saw was, to some degree, passed along to the immigrants helping to drive it. Recognizing economics plays an important role in foreign born individuals seeking to reside in the U.S., it is important to point out that there are a multitude of ways that this may be accomplished, including through:

  • Work visas
  • Investor visas
  • Family visas
  • Student visas

The bottom line appears to be that population growth, via any method, is an important part of what helps economies grow. This can ultimately be beneficial for all involved. For anyone who is interested in residing in the U.S. an immigration attorney can help determine what options exist.

Source: Bloomberg, "Immigration Doesn't Hurt City Economies Or Ratings, S&P Says," Amanda J. Crawford, May 17, 2012

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