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February 3, 2010
2:28 PM

CONTACT: Americas Voice

Marjorie Valbrun 202-463-8602 x305

Immigration Reform: The $4 Trillion Opportunity

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Would Grow the U.S. Economy

WASHINGTON - February 3 - As policymakers wrestle with President's budget, there is a $4.1 trillion choice in Washington that some in Congress want to keep under wraps:

Comprehensive Immigration Reform =

$1.5 trillion increase in GDP over 10 years

Mass Deportation =

$2.6 trillion loss in GDP over 10 years

Comprehensive immigration reform would grow the economy by ensuring that all workers and employers pay their fair share of taxes and play by the same rules.  Reform would raise the wage floor for all workers and end the underground economy where unscrupulous employers take advantage of their workers and undercut honest employers who do the right thing.

The anti-immigrant lobby's unrealistic agenda of mass deportation would decimate the economic health of our nation and push the underground economy deeper into the shadows.

A new report called "Raising the Floor for American Workers: The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform," by the Immigration Policy Center and the Center for American Progress shows that a policy of comprehensive immigration reform would grow U.S. GDP by 0.84 percent over 10 years, or a cumulative $1.5 trillion.  The report also finds that deporting 4 million workers and their dependents-just over half of the undocumented workforce-would have a catastrophic impact on the economy, shrinking GDP by $2.6 trillion over 10 years. 

The conservative CATO Institute also found that a comprehensive approach would benefit the economy, while policies to tighten "enforcement" alone would harm the economy.  In fact, CATO found that the difference between what U.S. households would gain or lose due to the best and worst immigration policies they analyzed would be $260 billion each year.

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice, said: "In good economic times and bad, the hard-line anti-immigrant lobby has worked to stop progress on bipartisan immigration reform and lash out at immigrants no matter the price tag.  Polls show that independents, Republicans and Democrats support comprehensive immigration reform and are frustrated that Congress still hasn't solved the problem.  Congress has a $4 trillion choice to make:  pass comprehensive immigration reform and grow the economy by $1.5 trillion - or enact the anti-immigrant lobby's impractical mass deportation agenda at any cost."

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