Follow the Money: Immigration Reform

Anne Spear, The Huffington Post

Comprehensive Immigration Reform has passed the Senate hurdle and is still on the front burner. Now is the time to look at the issue through an economic lens; an approach that is meaningful to all. Here are some voices that have been raised recently that speak to the importance of immigrants to the U.S. economy.

In June, the Center for American Progress released a comprehensive study, The Contributions of Immigrants and Their Children to the American Workforce and Jobs of the Future. The Center for American Progress hosted a panel discussion on the topic and the panel included one of the authors of the study, demographer Dowell Myers, economist Robert Lynch and Center for American Progress Vice President Vanessa Cardenas.

The big news from the study concerns the vast numbers of Baby Boomers who will be retiring in the next two decades and the importance of immigrants and their children in replacing those workers. Specifically, Baby Boomers will account for 40.2 million retirements between 2010 and 2030. During this time period, immigrants and their children will account for 40.8 percent of the entrances to the workforce. The study also states that native-born third or later generations are steadily falling as a share of entrances to the workforce, dropping from 71.3 percent in the 1990s to 59.2 percent in the 2020s. As stated in the study, “It is clear that a very large portion of the workforce needs caused by Baby Boomer retirements is going to be met by immigrants and their children.” Economist Robert Lynch stated that replacing skilled Baby Boomers has “major implications for English language skills and education and training.”

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About NAE

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…