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Monday, January 22nd, 2007 by

NewSouth novelist Rod Davis, who compellingly described the cultural tapestry of pre-Katrina New Orleans in Corina’s Way (2004), has a cover story in the February issue of D Magazine on what he calls “the biggest identity crisis in Dallas history”: the “Mexican Invasion. As our author makes clear, this is more than just a Dallas story. From the article:

Last June, a group of more than 500 economists, including five Nobel Laureates, sent an é─˙Open Letter on Immigrationé─¨ to President George W. Bush. é─˙Overall,é─¨ the letter said, é─˙immigration has been a net gain for American citizens, though a modest one in proportion to the size of our $13 trillion economy.é─¨ The Texas Comptroller takes a similar position. A special report issued in December says that on balance, undocumented immigrants (it used the conservative 1.4 million estimate) produced $1.58 billion in state revenues in fiscal 2005, exceeding the $1.16 billion cost of state services to them by $424.7 million. As a caveat, the report said that local governments tended to pay out more, with a net loss of $928.9 million statewide. Thaté─˘s across the board. Some counties lose more than others; some probably gain. Dallas, for example, with a greater population and percentage of the undocumented, is likely to have much higher revenues than Travis County, one of those on which the comptrolleré─˘s office based its local-government estimate. And the undocumented in Dallas, according to the Dallas Fed, tend to have higher skill levels than most other parts of the state. But the most eyebrow-raising figure from the state report said that one of the best ways to consider the impact of the undocumented in Texas was to consider their disappearance, which would drop the gross state product by an estimated $17.7 billion in various kinds of lost revenues.

Davis will also be interviewed about our nation’s immigration issues on PBS’s “Think” program (KERA, FM 90.1). The program airs Thursday, January 25, 2007, between noon and 1 pm.

Davis’s PEN Southwest Book Award-winning novel Corina’s Way is available directly from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

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