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Report: Pathway To Citizenship Could Add $1.7 Trillion To US GDP

DC: Latino Leaders hold The Immigrant State of the Union demonstration
Lenin Nolly/Lenin Nolly/Sipa USA via Reuters
Undocumented latino leaders hold a demonstration during The Immigrant State of the Union, today on March 17, 2021 at National Mall in Washington DC, USA. (Photo by Lenin Nolly/Sipa USA)No Use Germany.

According to a new report, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers will add up to a $1.7 trillion dollars to the United States gross domestic product (GDP) in a decade. The Center for American Progress published the report and the Center for Global Migration performed the analysis.

Giovanni Peri and Reem Zaiour, both economists at UC Davis, simulated four immigration reform scenarios and their economic impacts.

The first scenario encompassed all undocumented immigrants, regardless of their employment or legal standing. This reform would yield the highest economic benefit over ten years by increasing the US GDP by 1.7 trillion dollars.

The three other scenarios grouped undocumented immigrants by whether they were essential workers, eligible for the American Dream and Promise Act, or a combination of both.

The American Dream and Promise Act is a proposed bill that would offer Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforcement Departure status a pathway to citizenship.

“These are young people who are finishing their studies, and will generate an impulse in the American economy equal to $800 billion of GDP extra in the next 10 years,” said Peri on a press call for the report.

Related: ‘This Is Still Not Enough’: One Texas Dreamer’s Journey Through DACA’s Precarious Existence

They calculated economic impact by taking into account a ten percent wage increase from legalization, a five percent increase from becoming a citizen and the value of education and job training.

“I think this meeting to me symbolizes the combination of the quantitative research analysis and the stories that we hear,” said Peri. “I really hope that this type of combination is more and more useful for policymakers to bring to the hill and make the case for the immigration reforms.”

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Carolina Cuellar reports for Texas Public Radio from the city of McAllen where she covers business and border issues. Her position is made possible by Report For America — a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.