New Study Shows Economic Boost of Legalizing Undocumented Immigrants

Economists Giovanni Peri and Reem Zaior from University of California-Davis’s Global Migration Center have published a study that looks at the economic impact of legalizing the nation’s undocumented immigrants.

The study poses various scenarios  ranging from legalizing the entire estimated 10.4 million undocumented population, to legalizing portions of that population includied in various bills currently pending in Congress.  Under every scenario, legalization would produce significant economic benefits for the U.S. as a whole, generating new tax revenues, increased productivity and wages, and creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, would provide a path to permanent residency for those who came to the U.S. as children, as well as those who have Temporary Protected Status  (TPS) due to natural disasters or civil conflict in their home countries.   The study indicates that enacting H.R. 6 – whose Senate counterpart bills are the bipartisan Durbin Graham Dream Act and the SECURE Act – would

increase U.S. GDP by a cumulative total of $799 billion over 10 years and create 285,400 new jobs.

      • Five years after implementation, those eligible would experience annual wages that are $4,300 higher.

      • Ten years after implementation, those annual wages would be $16,800 higher, and all other American workers would see their annual wages increase by $400.

Were Congress to pass legislation giving a path to permanent residency for all undocumented individuals, the economists project that action would

boost U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by a cumulative total of $1.7 trillion over 10 years and create 438,800 new jobs.

The ball is in the Senate’s court to act on the Dream Act, the SECURE Act, and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, three common sense bills that collectively would legalize approximately 4 million undocumented individuals.   The study shows that not only would passage of the bills benefit these individuals, but also our communities and nation as a whole.

You can read study here.