header icons

Undocumented Boost Texas Economy

Houston’s economy is booming. Its prosperity and economic success can be attributed to the great labor pool provided by our Latin American brothers who, for the most part, are undocumented. They can be hired at the minimum wage or less and they are non-union. Could you imagine a better present from your neighbors to the South?

An undocumented worker, for example, may pay income tax, sales tax, gasoline tax, school tax, social security tax, any and all taxes, but he may never collect on them. His tax recovery goes to the local, state and federal governments and often he may receive little in return. Now that’s having a good neighbor.

Better yet, when there is a crisis in the family of an undocumented worker and the family goes for help to the local agencies, which they support with their taxes, they are told that they cannot help illegal aliens or, if they do, they must report them to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Until this year, Houston was able to avoid educating the children of the Undocumented. Not only that, the superintendent of schools could always threaten an increase in taxes if anyone suggested that the children of the undocumented be educated. In fact, he wouldn’t hesitate to lay school problems at the feet of these possible students of the future. The Undocumented serve as the scapegoat for school problems and any or all problems Houston has. Now that’s being a brother.

Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. 1, No. 1, September 1981