Many thanks to Dr. Charlie Hall from Texas A&M for passing along some real academic research on the impact of immigration policy on the economy. While this information is specifically related to the agricultural economy, it seems safe to believe that the impact on other segments like lawn and landscape would likely not be too different.
This material is from Choices, the outreach publication of the American Agricultural Economics Association.
Some of the research is pretty interesting. According to one study which modeled the the effects on agricultural output and exports of a significant decrease in the unauthorized labor supply as a result of possible changes in immigration policy,” the model captures some of the divergent economic interests at stake in the debate over immigration policy and agriculture. Farm employers benefited from the increased availability of temporary nonimmigrant farm workers, but wages fell for farm workers. A large, economy-wide reduction in the size of the unauthorized workforce, by contrast, raised wages in farm work and other lower paying occupations, but depressed agricultural output and exports. Moreover, total national income accruing to U.S.-born and foreign-born, permanent resident workers and to employers contracted as the size of the unauthorized workforce was reduced, and the occupational distribution of the workforce shifted toward hired farm labor and other lower paying jobs. This divergence of interests helps to explain why the debate over immigration policy continues.”
In other words, who wins and who loses from immigration reform is not clear and may not be what you might think.
It is worth reading and thinking about.