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Council of Economic Advisors and CATO Institute: Immigrants and Immigration Reform Good for U.S. Economy and Fiscal Health

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More Reminders About the Costs and Consequences of GOP Nativism and Legislative Obstruction

Washington, DC – In the newly released annual Economic Report of the President, the White House Council of Economic Advisors includes an unequivocal set of facts that immigrants and immigration reform are key to growing and strengthening the American economy.

As Reuters notes in related coverage, More immigrants, paid childcare key to economic growth, White House says”: 

“The annual report by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) said the aging U.S. workforce, slowing population growth and declining labor force participation by both women and men have created ‘significant headwinds’ for U.S. labor supply, which could depress economic growth and living standards for years.

‘Necessity is the mother of invention,’ CEA Chair Cecilia Rouse told Reuters, warning that failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform and steps that allowed workers to balance home and work responsibilities would harm the U.S. economy … Rouse said changes were imperative to ensure U.S. growth: ‘These are not political issues; these are economic issues. If we want to continue the kinds of economic prosperity that we count on … we have to have all hands on deck.’

… the ‘vast majority’ of the growth in working age people will come from immigrants and their descendants, it said. Allowing more immigrants to enter the United States, and legalizing the status of 11 million people already in the country without authorization to work, would offset the aging demographics and boost innovation, without a big impact on the wages and employment of the existing population, it said.’”

Meanwhile, new research released today by the CATO Institute on the fiscal impact of immigrants and immigration finds, “the net fiscal impact of immigrants is more positive than it is for native‐​born Americans and positive overall for the federal and state/​local governments.”

These studies are just the latest in an overwhelming and consistent body of research that shows why modernizing our immigration system, including legalizing long-settled undocumented immigrants, is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. 

According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice:

“The economic consensus remains clear and overwhelming: getting our economy right today and in the future requires immigrants and immigration. Despite this reality, Republicans are blocking the legislative fixes we sorely need to keep our economy humming and workers operating on a level playing field, which would benefit all workers, consumers and producers in our economy. Every American pays a daily price for the nativism that grips the Republican Party. 

The worst part of the GOP obstruction may just be the reality that they know the importance of immigrants yet continue to block a legislative overhaul. Republicans know full well that immigrants help make the American economy great while at the same time bashing immigrants as a threat. Top GOP politicians in particular understand – whether it’s Donald Trump employing and exploiting undocumented workers in his family businesses, Gov. Ron Desantis’ Florida, which relies on immigrant service and agricultural workers up and down the state or Kevin McCarthy representing the Central Valley of California and its agriculture sector that relies on immigrant labor. The GOP’s opposition to immigration is political, hypocritical, and self-defeating for our country.”