RCSE was fortunate to have Dr. Rick McGrath, Professor of Economics at Georgia Southern University, present an economic overview of immigration in the United States. 
Dr. McGrath said he likes to lead with the ending so he told everyone that when it comes to economics, the benefits of immigration outweigh the costs.  The benefits are spread even nationally (fill undesirable low-paid jobs, lower labor costs in many sectors) and the costs are geographically lumpy (local education costs can be higher, unreimbursed health expenses).  Immigrants make up 14.1% of the US population: 10.8% are lawful and 3.2% are unauthorized.  Mexico, China and India are among the top birthplaces for immigrants in the US.  Immigrants coming from Asia, Europe, and the Middle East are better educated than immigrants coming from Mexico and South America.  
Dr. McGrath then talked about political rhetoric vs. economic analysis.  When it comes to the unskilled labor and job competition, the political rhetoric is that immigrants take our jobs.  The truth is, when it comes to employment, English fluency is the decisive factor.  Therefore, a native born worker will win over an immigrant worker.  When discussing skilled labor and job competition, the narrative is that immigrants use American higher education resources and then go home.  In actuality, the US sends those immigrants home which in the long term can be detrimental to our economy because immigrants are more likely to start a business and create jobs.  Immigrants are 18% of the US workforce and obtain 28% of high-value patents.  Another topic he touched on was the impact of immigration on education.  It has been shown that primary and secondary education of ESL students cost about 30% more.  In relation to health care usage, immigrants, who make up 14% of the population, consume 8.6% of health care.  There is a five-year wait for documented immigrants after visa receipt before they are able to use government programs.  Finally, he said that immigrants have a far lower crime rate than the native-born population.  
If you are wanting to do research on your own about immigration and other political/social topics, Dr. McGrath recommends Pew Research and Brookings Institute.