tags: Press Releases

Fed Chair Adds to Fresh Economic Reminders About the Cost We All Pay for GOP Nativism

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Washington, DC – As fresh estimates show the economic potential of a legislative breakthrough on immigration, we also have more reminders about the costs of Republican nativism, the continuing downward impact of Trump immigration policies and GOP opposition to all forms of legal immigration.

First, FWD.us yesterday released new fiscal and economic estimates showing that “individuals eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) could contribute at least $390 billion in wages and $117 billion in combined taxes over the next decade if Congress provides a pathway to citizenship for them this year.” Not only would this be a powerful economic boost, but the alternative would be detrimental to our short- and long-term economic outlook: failure to deliver on legislation could mean that tens of thousands of current DACA employees working as nurses, teachers, entrepreneurs, and essential workers would be jettisoned from their current jobs. 

Another reminder about the costs, consequences, and missed economic potential of following anti-immigrant policymaking comes from the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, as Stuart Anderson describes in his latest Forbes column, Fed Chair Finds Trump-Era Immigration Policies Still Harm Economy”:

“Bad government policies are gifts that keep on giving. That is the message Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell delivered in a recent speech. Powell cited Trump-era restrictions on immigration that have led to a continued worker shortfall. 

Economists say recent events are further evidence that a lower supply of workers—which anti-immigration advocates and organizations believe is a good thing—is damaging and even destructive. Admitting fewer foreign-born workers can—and has—lead to shortages and labor shortfalls that harm the economy by limiting output and contributing to inflation.

… ‘The second factor contributing to the labor supply shortfall is slower growth in the working-age population,’ said Powell. ‘The combination of a plunge in net immigration and a surge in deaths during the pandemic probably accounts for about 1-1/2 million missing workers.’

…For more than a century, analysts point out, the anti-immigration movement has rested upon the mistaken belief only a fixed number of jobs exist and that admitting fewer foreign-born workers would lead to more jobs for U.S. workers. During the Trump administration, anti-immigration advocates saw their preferred policies enacted. As Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell noted, those policies contributed to inflation and have continued to damage the U.S. economy.”

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

“Republicans have historically enjoyed an electoral advantage on the economy and are often perceived as the party of economic growth, but all the evidence points to the fact that we are all paying a huge price for GOP nativism and nationalistic extremism. Right now, policymakers have the opportunity and fresh evidence why delivering on immigration solutions is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do for the American economy. Continued efforts to undo the damage of Donald Trump and Stephen Miller and blunt the impact of GOP efforts to kill DACA in the courts will pay economic dividends if Republican lawmakers are courageous enough to seize the moment and work with Democrats to make concrete policy improvements this year. By avoiding the economic catastrophe of the DACA program ending and stabilizing the families and futures of Dreamers, farm workers, TPS holders, and other undocumented workers with permanent legal status and a path to citizenship, we have an opportunity to strengthen the economy and combat inflation. Policymakers should not squander the chance they have to help Americans this year.”

Follow Vanessa Cárdenas, Douglas Rivlin, Mario Carrillo, Zachary Mueller and America’s Voice on Twitter: @VCardenasDC and @douglasrivlin and @_mariocarrillo_ and @ZacharyAMueller and @AmericasVoice

America’s Voice – Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform