REPORT: IMMIGRATION REFORM COULD ADD $1.5 TRILLION TO GDP OVER TEN YEARS
Professor Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda of UCLA (and a former Immigrant of the Day) has authored a major report that has been released by the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center that shows that fixing the country's immigration system could produce massive economic benefits for the US. The report shows the following:
This report uses a computable general equilibrium model to estimate the economic ramifications of three different scenarios: 1) comprehensive immigration reform that creates a pathway to legal status for unauthorized immigrants in the United States and establishes flexible limits on permanent and temporary immigration that respond to changes in U.S. labor demand in the future; 2) a program for temporary workers only that does not include a pathway to permanent status or more flexible legal limits on permanent immigration in the future; and 3) mass deportation to expel all unauthorized immigrants and effectively seal the U.S.-Mexico border. The model shows that comprehensive immigration reform produces the greatest economic benefits:
o 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.
o The temporary worker program generates an annual increase in U.S. GDP of 0.44 percent.This amounts to $792 billion of additional GDP over 10 years. Moreover, wages
decline for both native-born and newly legalized immigrant workers.
o 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.2 Wages
would rise for less-skilled native-born workers, but would reduce wages for higherskilled
natives, and would lead to widespread job loss.
The message is clear - those arguing that legalization will hurt workers and hurt the country just aren't right on the facts.