How Will Immigration Reform Benefit the US Economy?

On April 16, 2013, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced an immigration reform bill and the centerpiece of the bill is a provision that would open a pathway to US citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. But the legalization process may not be easy and the undocumented immigrants will have to wait for 13 long years to become US citizens. If immigration reform is passed, unauthorized residents in America could apply for legal status and live in the country without fear of deportation. Reports state that the US economy would be benefited if the undocumented immigrants are legalized. Heritage Foundation’s study stated that the Senate immigration reform bill would cost the country more than $6.3 trillion. Nevertheless, the Center for American Progress states that the economy of the United States would be boosted if the US Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform and legalizes undocumented immigrants.

Immigration reform, according to the Center for American Progress, would add $832 to the economy of the country, over the next ten years. The income of Americans would also raise and more than 121,000 new jobs would be created, every year. Reports also state that the economies of the American states where undocumented immigrants live, would be benefited. States like Texas, where more than 1.5 million undocumented immigrants live, would gain the most. More than $144 billion would be added to the economy of Texas, if the undocumented immigrants are legalized, over a decade. Almost all the American states would experience significant economic growth, if comprehensive immigration reform is passed.

Apart from benefiting the country’s economy, undocumented immigrants themselves would be benefited if the US Congress passes the immigration reform bill, that would permit them to obtain legal status. Angela Kelley, from the Center for American Progress stated that the undocumented immigrants would start to work legally and earn well, if they are legalized. She stated that they would legally study and work in the country and would be able to compete for jobs that they are unable to compete now. Currently undocumented immigrants are working illegally and they are being underpaid. If they are legalized, their earnings would be increased.

If the undocumented immigrants are legalized, they would invest more in education. Likewise, they would also be able to change jobs and US citizenship status would grant them access to better jobs. They would be protected from wage theft and protected by all the laws of the country. Undocumented immigrants would also become entrepreneurs and start up companies in America and that in turn would create more new jobs in the country. Reports state that the undocumented immigrants contribute very less to the country’s economy and that is because they now work illegally. But they would contribute more to the economy of the country if they are legalized. They would earn more and pay more in taxes. The overall income of the Americans would be increased and the country’s economy would be benefited. If the nation’s undocumented immigrants are legalized, the whole country would be able to reap the benefits as legalization of undocumented immigrants would not only benefit them but the country as a whole.

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