This morning I was live-tweeting from an event at the Center for American Progress (CAP), co-sponsored by the Immigration Policy Center, where economic experts from a wide range of institutions had come together to document the astounding economic benefits to the United States that would come from passing a comprehensive immigration reform package.
The event centered around a new study entitled, “Raising the Floor for American Workers,” which was written by Dr. Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, a professor at UCLA.
As Congress prepares to debate immigration reform early this year, the report crisply lays out the economic argument for fixing our immigration system. Simply put, Americans ignore immigration at the peril of their pocketbooks: passing reform would usher in $1.5 trillion in economic growth. Conversely, we’d see a net drain on our economy of $2.6 trillion over 10 years if we decided to simply deport all undocumented immigrants currently here.
The report examined the impact of the 1986 immigration bill and used economic modeling to make three key findings:
Comprehensive immigration reform generates an annual increase in U.S. GDP of at least 0.84 percent. This amounts to $1.5 trillion in additional GDP over 10 years. It also boosts wages for both native-born and newly legalized immigrant workers.
A temporary worker program with proper labor protections generates an annual increase in U.S. GDP of 0.44 percent. This amounts to $792 billion of additional GDP over 10 years [...]
Mass deportation reduces U.S. GDP by 1.46 percent annually. This amounts to $2.6 trillion in lost GDP over 10 years, not including the actual cost of deportation. [...]