New Studies Show Economic Benefit of Smart Immigration Reform

For Immediate Release

Americas Voice
Contact: 

Marjorie Valbrun
(202) 463-8602 ext.305

New Studies Show Economic Benefit of Smart Immigration Reform

Reform Will Help Middle Class and Strengthen the Economy for All Workers

WASHINGTON - Several
new research studies add fresh data to the long trail of evidence that
immigration reform benefits the U.S. economy and the American taxpayer.

The
Drum Major Institute (DMI), a think tank devoted to strengthening the
American middle class, published their assessment this week that
comprehensive immigration reform "will boost our nation's economy and
strengthen and expand its middle class."  In their analysis of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act
(CIR ASAP) legislation introduced recently in the U.S. House of
Representatives by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and other members of
Congress, DMI concludes that the legislation "sets a new standard for
American immigration policy," and "makes the grade for current and
aspiring middle-class Americans."  On its "pro-middle class immigration
test, DMI gives the bill an "A" for bolstering the contributions
immigrants make to the U.S. economy and an "A-" for its potential to
end the exploitation of undocumented immigrants that threatens the
wages and working conditions of America's aspiring middle class."

An additional study,
from Manuel Pastor of the University of Southern California Center for
the Study of Immigrant Integration, examined the potential economic
effects of comprehensive reform on the state of California.  The study
finds that "newly legalized immigrants earned higher wages, spent more
consumer dollars, paid more taxes and helped create jobs," leading to
an economic boon of $16 billion to the state.  "People keep using our
economic condition as an excuse to not do comprehensive immigration
reform," said Pastor.  "It's just the opposite: What we need to do to
right our economy and move forward is create a path to legalization." 
As California battles severe budget shortfalls, legislators should take
note that the study showed that reform would increase the "state and local tax base by about $350 million in the short run."

The new studies come on the heels of a report
released last week from the Center for American Progress and the
Immigration Policy Center that demonstrated that immigration reform
would boost the overall economy, including aiding job creation and wage
increases for American workers.  Among its findings, Raising the Floor for American Workers
concluded that U.S. GDP would rise by $1.5 trillion over 10 years if
Congress enacts comprehensive immigration reform, that granting legal
status to undocumented immigrants and creating flexible legal limits on
future immigration flows would also raise the "wage floor" for all
American workers, and that enacting such legislation would generate
enough consumer-spending to support 750,000-900,000 jobs.  The new
studies are the latest evidence that immigration reform would benefit
taxpayers and the overall economy and are consistent with past
analysis.  For example, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis
of the 2007 comprehensive immigration reform bill estimated that, even
accounting for services to the newly legalized, passing reform
legislation would generate a net gain of $25 billion over ten years,
while enforcement-only and enforcement without reform policy
alternatives would decrease revenues.

"The
evidence is consistent and compelling - comprehensive immigration
reform will be a boon to the economy," said Frank Sharry, Executive
Director of America's Voice.  "Immigration reform will lift wages,
increase revenues, and help honest employers create jobs.  As these new
studies show, the economic benefits of immigration reform would extend
broadly to include native born workers and other middle class
Americans." 

"When
you take a cold, hard look at the facts and remove the blinders of
Beltway conventional wisdom, passing immigration reform becomes
something to run to not from.  The American people consistently support
comprehensive immigration reform and independent studies consistently
uphold the economic benefits of doing so.  We can't build a sound
economy poised for long-term growth on the foundation of a broken
immigration system and we can't keep passing the buck on enacting smart
and sensible reform."

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