January 21, 2010

The Economic Benefits of Immigration Reform: A Factsheet

Last week the Immigration Policy Center, together with the Center for American Progress, released a report conducted by Dr. Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda of UCLA titled, Raising the Floor for American Workers: The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The report finds that comprehensive immigration reform that includes a legalization program for the roughly 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. and enables a future flow of legal workers would benefit U.S. workers and generate much needed economic growth.

  • Immigration reform would increase U.S. GDP by at least 0.84%. This would translate into at least a cumulative $1.5 trillion in added GDP over 10 years, which includes approximately $1.2 trillion in consumption and $256 billion in investment.
  • The benefits of additional GDP growth would be spread broadly throughout the U.S. economy,but immigrant-heavy sectors such as textiles, electronic equipment, and construction would see particularly large increases.
  • The higher earning power of newly legalized workers would mean increased tax revenues of $4.5 billion to $5.4 billion in the first three years.
  • Higher personal income would also generate increased consumer spending-enough to support 750,000 to 900,000 jobs in the U.S. in the first three years.
  • Experience shows that legalized workers open bank accounts, buy homes, and start businesses, further stimulating the U.S. economy.

Conversely, mass deportation would reduce U.S. GDP by 1.46 percent, amounting to a cumulative $2.6 trillion loss in GDP over 10 years, not including the actual costs of deportation. The Center for American Progress has estimated that mass deportation would cost $206 billion to $230 billion over five years.

Download the Factsheet: The Economic Benefits of Immigration Reform (January 14, 2010)
Download the Report: Raising the Floor for American Workers: The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (January 7, 2010)