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Latino Daily News

Thursday March 21, 2013

Granting Legal Status to Undocumented Immigrants Benefits the U.S. Economy

Granting Legal Status to Undocumented Immigrants Benefits the U.S. Economy

Photo: Statue of Liberty, symbol of immigration

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By Robert Lynch and Patrick Oakford, Center for American Progress

The movement toward comprehensive immigration reform has accelerated significantly in recent months. Legal status and a road map to citizenship for the unauthorized will bring about significant economic gains in terms of growth, earnings, tax revenues, and jobs—all of which will not occur in the absence of immigration reform or with reform that creates a permanent sub-citizen class of residents.

This paper analyzes the 10-year economic impact of immigration reform under three scenarios.

Under one of them—in which undocumented immigrants are granted legal status in 2013 and citizenship five years thereafter—the 10-year cumulative increase in U.S. GDP would be $1.1 trillion, and the annual increases in the incomes of Americans would sum to $603 billion.

The sooner we provide legal status and citizenship, the greater the economic benefits are for the nation.