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The DREAM Act is an Economic Winner: $1.4 Billion Deficit-Reducer

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CBO Estimate & New Economic Projections Underscore Importance of DREAM Passage

Washington – A series of economic estimates and revenue projections, most notably from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), show that the DREAM Act will strengthen the U.S. economy.  As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on DREAM next week, the new projections demonstrate why DREAM’s passage should be embraced by both parties.  Among the key economic developments:

CBO Estimate Shows DREAM Would Cut the Deficit by $1.4 Billion:  The new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate of the DREAM Act shows that the legislation would increase revenues by $2.3 billion in the 2011-2020 period.  After accounting for spending, “CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the bill would reduce deficits by about $1.4 billion over the 2011-2020 period,” according to their analysis. 

Educating DREAMs vs. Deporting Kids – Education Makes Economic & Moral Sense:  A new economic projection from the Center for American Progress deflates an attempt by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and their anti-immigrant allies in Congress to raise fears over the cost of educating DREAM youth.  CIS research issued yesterday estimates that the cost of educating DREAM youth would be approximately $6 billion.  However, not only does this figure not take into account economic output and income generated by educated DREAM youth, but the logical policy conclusion pursued by CIS and their anti-immigrant allies – deportation – would be a comparatively and prohibitively expensive policy approach, as well as morally bankrupt.  The new Center for American Progress estimate takes CIS at their word and shows that the taxpayer cost to deport the 1.1 million kids eligible for the DREAM Act under CBO’s analysis would be $25.5 billion over 5 years. 

Why Would Anyone Vote Against Trillions for the American Economy?  A recent study by the UCLA North American Integration and Development Center estimates that the total earnings of DREAM Act beneficiaries over the course of their working lives would be between $1.4 trillion and $3.6 trillion.  The study also notes, “Beyond the direct and indirect economic impacts of a more productive, legal workforce, the DREAM Act represents an opportunity for American taxpayers to significantly increase the return on our current, and already spent, investment in youths that the public school system educates in their K-12 years. It is common sense to create legislative and policy mechanisms to better ensure an economic return on this taxpayer investment.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “CIS, Jeff Sessions, and other anti-immigrant caucus members would rather spend nearly ten times the amount of money to deport blameless kids away from their homes rather than to educate them.  Not only is it morally reprehensible to want to ship kids away from the nation they call home and want to give back to, but the economic studies show that passing the DREAM Act is a no brainer from the perspective of America’s bottom line.” 

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