Analysis: What Is the Economic Impact of Immigration Reform?

ABC News Univision
November 19, 2012

Leaders from both parties are talking about immigration reform as a central issue in 2013. Among other things, such a bill could potentially legalize 11 million undocumented immigrants who are currently living in the shadows.

How would that impact the economy?

There are a few different opinions out there.

To begin with, there is no certainty that a reform bill will materialize or, if it does, what it will look like. But there are some existing reports that, based on hypothetical scenarios, give an estimate.

“I wouldn’t get too wedded to any particular or exact number, but I think you can learn a lot from the approach of going ahead and trying to make a projection,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, a senior fellow at the Fiscal Policy Institute, a nonpartisan organization that studies immigration and the economy. “You can see the magnitude of things.”

That includes John Feinblatt, the chief policy advisor for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose Partnership for a New American Economy has done it’s own body of research on the impact of reform.

“There’s a pretty straightforward explanation for this,” Feinblatt, said. “The act of immigration itself is an entrepreneurial act. Picking up your things, leaving your relatives behind and coming to a new country is about wanting something better for yourself.”

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New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…