In The News: Study Finds Immigration Reform Will Create Jobs

Digital Communications Manager

July 17, 2013

The Wall Street Journal reported this morning on a new and exhaustive Regional Economic Models, Inc., report that evaluates the economic effects of key components of immigration reform and finds a net positive effect at the state and national level.

The ground-breaking study analyzes the comprehensive, state-by-state macroeconomic impacts of potential reforms to immigration reform, including the path to legal status, increases in high-skill visas and changes to low-skill visa programs. The article states:

“The report, conducted by the nonpartisan Regional Economic Models Inc., a private forecasting firm, divides the immigration debate into three separate categories. The first, creating a path to legal status for some of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., could add 550,000 jobs nationwide and $45 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product—a broad measure of economic output—by 2020, according to the study. The second, increasing the number of high-skilled visas, would generate nearly as much economic growth and about 400,000 jobs by 2020. The third, revamping low-skilled visa programs, could increase employment by 468,000 by 2020.

“Still, some states will see bigger effects than others. In California, creating a path to legal status would add nearly 122,000 jobs by 2020, according to the study. The job gains would largely come from the retail, health-care, construction and other service industries, and Californians’ personal income would rise by an average of $445 per person, adjusted for inflation, by 2020.

“The impact is so large, in part, because California is so large, with more than 2.5 million undocumented immigrants. As those immigrants gain legal status, they can switch jobs more freely and might be more willing to invest in education, such as learning English, increasing their pay and productivity. That would boost their purchasing power, with a ripple effect of creating more economic activity, particularly in service industries such as retail.”

You can read the entire article at the Wall Street Journal.