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The Numbers Are In: Expanded Immigration Proposal in Budget Bill Is a BIG Economic Boost

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Data demolishes age-old nativist tropes about immigrants being a drag on the economy and tells us what everyone familiar with immigrant communities already knows: bringing more immigrants out of the shadows would be a significant boost to the American economy.

The budget reconciliation package being considered by the House addresses a number of overdue changes that would not only create a more humane existence for the millions of undocumented people in this country, but also provide benefits for U.S. citizens and residents. It would grow the economy, create jobs, increase wages, boost tax revenue, and even reduce the national deficit.

The current reconciliation bill, which includes citizenship for immigrant youth, TPS holders, farm workers and other essential workers, will boost economic growth, create jobs and increase wages for all Americans.

  • Creates hundreds of thousands of jobs. Similarly, including citizenship in the package would, over a period of 10 years, create over 400,000 new jobs.
  • Raise wages for all. For undocumented workers, inclusion in the human infrastructure package would mean a 31% increase in wages over 10 years. All other workers would see an increase in wages by $600.
  • Boosts economic output. According to noted scholars writing for the Center for American Progress, providing a pathway to citizenship for Immigrant youth, TPS holders, farm workers and other essential workers would boost GDP by a cumulative total of $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

Permitting undocumented immigrants to work in the U.S. legally would significantly increase federal, state and local tax contributions 

  • Local growth. A report finds that “many states stand to increase their GDP by several billion dollars if undocumented immigrants were provided a pathway to citizenship. Similarly, most Congressional districts would stand to grow their economies by hundreds of millions of dollars.” The report estimates that undocumented immigrants would contribute an added $149 billion of spending power each year to the U.S. economy if they were U.S. citizens. 
  • Tax contributions. According to FWD.us, the added income on naturalized, once-undocumented immigrants could result in an additional $39 billion in combined federal, payroll, state and local taxes each year. This is in addition to the nearly $500 billion in taxes immigrants pay annually.
  • State and local contributions.  According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants’ state and local tax contributions could increase by up to $2.1 billion under comprehensive immigration reform. 
  • Help finance programs like Social Security. According to an analysis done by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, legalization of undocumented workers and increased immigration “helps financing for these entitlement programs like Social Security.” 

Legalizing immigrants’ presence would reduce the federal deficit by billions.

  • Reduce the deficit. According to National Immigration Law Center analysis of previous proposals to legalize immigrants, legalizing their presence would stimulate growth and reduce the U.S. deficit by $25 billion over 10 years
  • According to the Congressional Budget Office, the American Dream and Promise Act would reduce the federal budget deficit by $3.3 Billion in five years and $7.1 Billion over ten years. This bill, which has already passed through the House, would give Dreamers and TPS holders a path to citizenship.