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Drum Major Institute: CIR ASAP “Makes the Grade,” Let’s Not Pass the Buck

by Mahwish Khan on 01/13/2010 at 1:49pm

A new analysis by the Drum Major Institute (DMI) found that the Comprehensive Immigration Reform ASAP bill introduced by Congressmen Solomon Ortiz and Luis Gutierrez late last year would “make the grade” for strengthening and expanding America’s middle class. DMI states the case succinctly:

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act sets the standard for an immigration policy, which will boost our nation’s economy and strengthen and expand its middle class. 

The Institute administered a two-part “middle class test,” which the bill passed with flying colors. The legislation was given a soaring “A” for “bolstering the contributions immigrants make to the U.S. economy,” and a solid “A-” for “its potential to end the exploitation of undocumented immigrants that threaten the wages and working conditions of America’s aspiring middle class.”

That’s a pretty good-looking report card.

An additional study this week, from Manuel Pastor of the University of Southern California Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, examined the potential economic effects of comprehensive reform on the state of California.  The study finds that “newly legalized immigrants earned higher wages, spent more consumer dollars, paid more taxes and helped create jobs,” leading to an economic boon of $16 billion to the state.  

As Pastor stated:

People keep using our economic condition as an excuse to not do comprehensive immigration reform. It’s just the opposite: What we need to do to right our economy and move forward is create a path to legalization.

As California battles severe budget shortfalls, legislators should take note that real immigration reform would increase revenue, boosting the “state and local tax base by about $350 million in the short run.”

That’s no chump change. It’s also just the latest evidence supporting an already-compelling case for enacting comprehensive immigration reform ASAP.

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