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Activists say La. immigration task force too narrow-minded

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BATON ROUGE - Members of a new immigration task force met Thursday to begin discussing how illegal immigration has impacted Louisiana's economy, but some activists are concerned that they're taking too negative a view on the situation.

The task force met Thursday to discuss crunching the numbers and seeing how undocumented immigrants affect the state's medical industry, education system, and crime. The chair of the task force said the state could use the data to request more federal money for the state budget.

The group is made up of politicians, law enforcement agents and state workers. Some activists say that makes it too one-sided, and doesn't take into account the positive contributions immigrants make every day, even if they're undocumented.

"Many of them do pay taxes, they have individual taxpayer identification numbers and in the same way that I as citizen pay taxes, they pay their state and federal taxes," said Jolene Elberth of the Congress of Day Laborers of New Orleans.

The task force will continue their discussions on Oct. 22.

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