Is Biden’s immigration reform beneficial for the US economy?

Is Biden's immigration reform beneficial for the US economy?

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Is Biden’s immigration reform beneficial for the US economy?

Telemundo News

The president, Joe Biden, considers that a great immigration reform would have a positive impact in the American economy, in addition to other benefits such as keeping families together, promoting diversity and relieving the collapse of immigration courts.

You believe modernizing our immigration system is long overdueand it’s good for Americans and good for the economy,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said a week ago.

The reform project, called the 2021 Citizenship Law, will remain stalled in Congress at least until April due to lack of support, but the White House considers that “andwill stimulate our economy while ensuring all workers are protected”.

[No es cierto que la reforma electoral demócrata permita a los indocumentados votar.]

Is this immigration reform really good for the US economy? After reading multiple academic reports, the answer is yes, Biden is correct.

These are some of the reasons:

For several years there has been talk of the benefits of immigration reform for the US economy. In 2013, The Barack Obama Administration published a report in which it pointed out the advantages of modernizing the immigration system and legalize the almost 11 million undocumented immigrants who are estimated to live in the country.

The study, carried out by various government agencies, concluded that approving the immigration reform that was then discussed in Congress, and which ultimately failed, would increase the country’s gross domestic product by 5.4% until the year 2033. In addition, it would reduce the budget deficit almost 850,000 million dollars in the same period.

“A larger workforce; higher productivity and investment; and stronger technology, tourism, hospitality, agriculture, and housing sectors are just a few of the key ways that immigration reform would strengthen the U.S. economy,” the report stated.

[Detienen la discusión sobre la reforma migratoria en el Congreso]

Another report, from the Congressional Budget Office and also from 2013, determined that although the immigration reform discussed by the senators would imply an increase in federal spending by 262,000 million between 2014 and 2033, mainly due to tax credits and spending on programs of health, the additional income after the legalization of the undocumented population could reach 459,000 million dollars in the period from 2014 to 2033, mainly because the labor force would grow and more people would pay taxes.

“Regularizing unauthorized immigrants will help the economy, mainly by increasing the productivity and wages of legalized immigrants,” he told Noticias Telemundo Alex Nowrasteh, director of immigration studies at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.

A study carried out by Nowrasteh found that the wages of undocumented people were about 11.3% lower than those of authorized immigrants, and suggested that immigration status explains this difference. Regularizing the undocumented “would probably reduce” the wage gap, the report said.

Another study, by researchers Pierre Azoulay, Benjamin Jones, J. Daniel Kim, and Javier Miranda, published in September 2020 by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that immigrants act more like “job creators” than “job seekers”and they start businesses at a higher rate than Native Americans.

Many of the founders of the large companies that are marking the entrepreneurial spirit in the United States are immigrants, the study determined.

[Miles de menores han cruzado la frontera y están bajo custodia federal. Esto es lo que pueden hacer sus familias en Estados Unidos para recuperarlos]

The George W. Bush Presidential Center noted in 2018 that deporting all undocumented immigrants, if possible, would hurt the nation’s economy and “cause about a 4.5% reduction in the workforce and could lead to reductions in gross domestic product of up to $4.7 trillion over 10 years”.

A path to citizenship is the most reasonable solution”, says the center, founded by former Republican President George W. Bush.

Beyond the regularization of millions of undocumented immigrants, Nowrasteh indicated that the United States requires the entry of more authorized immigrants to increase domestic production. This would also decrease the amount of money spent on controlling unauthorized immigration.

“Immigration enforcement is like a tax,” he said, “it makes America poorer and prevents workers and businesses from making the goods and services that Americans demand.”

[“No pondremos fin a la detención de familias”, dice ICE, “no cerraremos los centros de detención”]

In a recent article published by The Washington Post, AK Sandoval-Strausz, director of the Latino studies program at Pennsylvania State University, recalled how the 1986 immigration reform (IRCA), which regularized 2.7 million undocumented immigrants during the Ronald Reagan Administration, caused the salaries of the beneficiaries to increase 15% in five years, and in two decades the percentage of homeowners doubled and their poverty level fell by half.

What the history of IRCA shows us is that there is no reason to fear a generous path to citizenship for undocumented Americans. On the contrary, we all have much to gain from it,” Sandoval-Strausz wrote.

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