Report: Immigration reform would help grow labor force, economy

Bipartisan Policy CenterA recent study found that immigration reform would have a significantly positive impact on the U.S. economy by growing the labor force, encouraging new residential construction and cutting deficits in the long term.

The analysis, released by the Bipartisan Policy Center, considered data sets surrounding the debate over immigration reform, including economic growth and the effect of government spending.

“[This analysis] demonstrates that under almost every plausible approach, fixing our broken immigration system will benefit our economy,” BPC Immigration Task Force Co-Chairmen Condoleeza Rice, Henry Cisneros, Haley Barbour and Ed Rendell said. “It also demonstrates that how Congress crafts reform matters to the overall economic performance. A balanced understanding of the costs and benefits of immigration reform is crucial to this process. We believe that it is both critical and possible to develop a bipartisan approach to immigration reform and hope that this analysis is helpful to achieving this goal.”

The study estimated that the U.S. labor force would grow by approximately 8.4 million, growing the economy an additional 4.8 percent over the next 20 years. Wages would initially decrease as a result of the labor influx but would increase 0.5 percent by the end of the 20-year period, during which residential housing construction would increase by $68 billion per year and reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion.

“The Bipartisan Policy Center study reminds us that the result of immigration reform is what matters, not the process,” Doug Holtz-Eakin, the president of American Action Forum and former director of the Congressional Budget Office, said. “Regardless of how it gets done, immigration reform is a pro-growth policy that will raise growth, strengthen housing markets and firm up our nation’s finances.”

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