Will Obama’s immigration reform really help the U.S. economy?

The sooner the better

According to a report released on May 17 by the Center for American Progress, California would benefit with thousands of new jobs per year an extra income in taxes if the immigration reform is approved.

The report "Economic Effects of Ensuring Legal Status and Citizenship to Undocumented Immigrants," presents three different scenarios which show different benefits of the immigration reform. First scenario speaks about approving the immigration reform and granting citizenship to undocumented immigrants during the same year in 2013. The second scenario speaks about an immigration reform being approved in 2013, but the path to citizenship would not be until 5 years later.

In the third scenario, in which undocumented immigrants are granted legal status starting in 2013 but are not eligible for citizenship within 10 years. It mentions that the cumulative gain in U.S. GDP between 2013 and 2022 would still be significant, approximately 832 billion. The annual increases in the incomes of Americans would sum to $470 billion over the 10-year period, and the economy would add an average of 121,000 more jobs per year. The income of undocumented immigrants would be 15.1 percent higher within five years. And because of their increased earnings, undocumented immigrants would pay an additional $109 billion in taxes over the 10-year period—$69 billion to the federal government and $40 billion to state and local governments.

Image courtesy of Center for American Progress
Image courtesy of Center for American Progress

Finally, the report suggests that the sooner that legal status and citizenship are granted to undocumented immigrants, the greater the gains will be for the U.S. economy.



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