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Immigration Reform Provides Economic Benefits For States Represented By Anti-Immigrant Lawmakers

By Esther Yu-Hsi Lee  

"Immigration Reform Provides Economic Benefits For States Represented By Anti-Immigrant Lawmakers"

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(Credit: AP)

A new study released by the Center for American Progress contends that a pathway to legalization and citizenship will bring vast economic benefits to states. The study by Robert Lynch and Patrick Oakford highlights the importance of a legalization pathway that would positively affect economic gains for the 24 states in which 88 percent of undocumented immigrants reside.

Once they attain legal status, immigrants will be able to contribute to the increased consumption of goods and services that boosts business sales and raises the earnings of all Americans. They will pay taxes on their higher wages and increase the gross state product (GSP). Additionally, immigrants will be able to use their new legal status by integrating their skill set and education into creating jobs and raising productivity.

Opponents of a pathway to citizenship have offered numerous “poison pill” amendments that could undermine reform and jeopardize passage of the bipartisan bill making its way through the senate. The House of Representatives has a number of lawmakers working against it, as well. Here are several of the states that would benefit from legalization, which are represented by vocal opponents or Republican leaders:

Arizona: Gov. Jan Brewer

– Undocumented immigrant population: 400,000
– Cumulative increase in GSP: $23,100,000,000
– Cumulative increase in earnings of all state residents: $15,300,000,000
– Average number of jobs created annually: 3,400

Pennsylvania: Rep. Lou Barletta

– Undocumented immigrant population: 160,000
– Cumulative increase in GSP: $14,800,000,000
– Cumulative increase in earnings of all state residents: $9,300,000,000
– Average number of jobs created annually: 2,100

Texas: Sens. John Cornyn, Ted Cruz

– Undocumented immigrant population: 1,600,000
– Cumulative increase in GSP: $144,600,000,000
– Cumulative increase in earnings of all state residents: $74,700,000,000
– Average number of jobs created annually: 21,000

Utah: Sen. Mike Lee

– Undocumented immigrant population: 110,000
– Cumulative increase in GSP: $8,600,000,000
– Cumulative increase in earnings of all state residents: $4,600,000,000
– Average number of jobs created annually: 1,200

Nationally, immigration reform will generate $832 billion in GDP, create 121,000 new jobs, and increase the personal income of all Americans by $470 billion, the report finds. Americans stand to gain more from immigration reform since immigrants could pay upwards of $184 million in tax revenue.

‹ House Immigration Group Agrees To Preliminary Principles For 15-Year Path To Citizenship

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