By Robert Lynch and Patrick Oakford
On April 16, 2013, the Senate’s “Gang of 8”—a bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators—filed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. At the core of the bill is a provision that will provide a pathway to earned legalization and citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in America.
Undocumented immigrants are currently earning far less than their potential and therefore paying much less in taxes than they otherwise would be. Overall, they are contributing significantly less to the U.S. economy than they potentially could. With legalization and citizenship, undocumented immigrants will produce and earn more, pay more in taxes, boost the American economy, increase the incomes of all Americans, and promote job growth.
This analysis of the economic impact on 24 states, many with the largest undocumented populations, demonstrates that it is not just the nation but also each individual state that will benefit from immigration reform. The sooner we grant legal status and provide a pathway to citizenship to undocumented immigrants, the sooner all Americans will be able to reap these benefits.