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Subject increase in illegal workers reduces wages and increases the burden on social services Topic Supply and Demand Labor Markets Income Distribution and Poverty Key Words Illegal Immigration Labor Market Poverty Hispanics Regulation News Story Since September 11 2001 US border patrols have increased significantly Patrols have increased so much that the cost to cross illegally from Mexico into the US has increased to about 1500 since 1995 This increase has had an unlikely effect Workers who entered the US illegally are reluctant to try to cross back into Mexico during the winter and therefore stay in the US permanently In Stockton California workers cram into small apartments sleeping wherever space is available This non-exodus has caused a drain on the social services provided by communities with high populations of illegal immigrants Montezuma Elementary School in Stockton currently serves over 1100 students about four times its optimal capacity hospitals are forced to write off medical bills of those uninsured and unable to pay their bills and children born in the US to illegal immigrants are eligible for welfare assistance Further the illegal immigrants permanent habitation has also caused wages to plummet Wages for farm workers have fallen from 698 in 1989 to about 618 in 1998 causing not only Mexican workers to live in poverty but also cutting American farm workers income Part of the problem lies in the fact that while the government has implemented stricter controls on border crossings enforcement in the workplace has dwindled significantly In other words if immigrants make it across the border illegally then it is highly likely that they will be able to remain for a significant period of time If these individuals remain in poverty it is unlikely that they will try to return to Mexico anytime soon because of the increased risk involved in trying to return to the US again Updated October 2003 Questions 1 Using supply and demand
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