Encouragingly, however, away from enforcement ground zeros of the metropolitan centers, some reasonable and intelligent work is being done. Consider Taking A Closer Look At Illegal Immigration By Brian Barker – KATU.com April 28 2006, which appears to be the result of some open minded investigatory journalism:
KATU News has uncovered surprising details about the costs and benefits of illegal immigration in Oregon…[Umtilla County] Sheriff John Trumbo has sent a bill to the President of Mexico, outlining 5,061 beds used by the country's citizens in 2005 at a cost of $63 per day…Umatilla County spends more than $300,000 a year keeping illegal immigrants behind bars…If the immigrants had not crossed the border, Trumbo says, they would not have been here to commit crimes and they would not be in his jail.
There is no statewide estimate about what it costs to jail illegal immigrants…It is the same story for schools. Public schools are required to educate every child, regardless of whether they are legal…Children of illegal immigrants often do not speak English as their first language. It costs an additional $2,600 a year per child to educate someone who speaks English as a second language. Then there are the hospitals. They do not track how many illegal immigrants they serve, but the vast majority of those who seek care do not have health insurance. In the state of Oregon, illegal immigrants account for a staggering $165 million in unpaid medical bills.
KATU notes that there is dispute about whether these immigrants are “giving more than they take”, but even the Economist they produce to personify that thought, Portland State University Professor Anthony Rufolo, adds a penetrating observation
the argument that illegal immigrants take away jobs that legal citizens would do, he says, is not realistic. "You have to recognize the flexibility of the economy based on relative wages. Producers change the way they produce things. If there's a large amount of low skilled labor available, then they tend to change the production process to make use of that."