This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending September 23


This week in immigration: National Academy of Sciences releases major report on immigration economic impact; Citizenship Day activities

National Academy of Sciences Report: An expert panel of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation’s most prestigious and respected source of independent and objective scientific analysis, released a major new report this week on The Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Immigration. Among the report’s major findings:

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  • Immigration has an overall positive impact on long-run economic growth in the U.S.
  • There is little evidence that immigration significantly affects overall employment levels and wages of native-born workers; research finds slight positive effects for some groups and slight negative effects on other groups of native-born workers.
  • As adults, the children of immigrants are among the strongest fiscal contributors in the U.S. population, contributing more in taxes than…the rest of the native-born population.
  • The population of unauthorized immigrants shrank by over a million from 2007-2009, and has remained stable since.

This study, and an earlier report by the Academy on immigrant integration, also debunk the myths that have become all too prevalent in the current political campaign. Immigrants make vital contributions to our nation’s economy. More importantly, the report shows, the children of today’s immigrants will be the foundation of our future economy and tax base.

Another report released this week by the Center for American Progress outlines the Economic Impacts of Removing Unauthorized Immigrant Workers: An Industry- and State-Level Analysis and an online interactive that illustrates the harms on a state-by-state and industry-by-industry level.

The report finds that the removal of an estimated 7 million unauthorized workers from the country would reduce the workforce by 5 percent and decrease GDP by $4.7 trillion and federal revenue by $900 billion over 10 years.

Photo: Katy Warner
Photo: Katy Warner

Citizenship Day: Last Saturday was citizenship day and leading up to it, NCLR lifted up efforts to encourage eligible permanent residents to apply for citizenship.

“I am very grateful to TODEC [NCLR Affiliate], which helped me complete my citizenship application free of charge” said Cleofas Hernandez, one of the newly-registered voters featured on the NCLR Blog. “They even helped me get a fee waiver—TODEC’s help was a blessing.” TODEC holds monthly workshops to help people like Hernandez become citizens and voters. The organization is a current grantee of NCLR’s citizenship program, which works with Latino organizations across the country to help prepare eligible immigrants to become citizens.

To help immigrants overcome costly fees for citizenship and also put them on a wealth-building path, NCLR has developed an initiative that combines small-dollar lines of credit with immigration legal services. Legal permanent residents receive both citizenship application assistance and assistance in accessing savings or loan products that can help them build their credit. This national initiative enables citizenship applicants to overcome financial barriers and enter the financial mainstream.

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