Readers in California may not be surprised to hear that one authority asserts that legal immigration into our country can be an economic boon to our nation’s economy. In fact, a recent report indicates that if a path to citizenship and naturalization was made available to people in our state and across the nation, the economy could grow by as much as $11.5 trillion over the next 10 years. In addition, there would be a significant increase in the tax revenue collected from these individuals.
Many people in California may recall that in1986 the federal government passed a bill that allowed millions of undocumented workers to become legalized. In fact, between the years of 1987 and 1990, three million people were legalized in our country as a result of the Immigration Reform and Control Act. Now, congressional members are working to add to the law, changes that could affect another 11 million people and offer a path to citizenship and naturalization for some.
Though some worry that the already high unemployment rate could grow higher with reforms, many note that this did not occur after the passage of the 1986 bill. In fact, only four years later the real wage for those affected by the Act had risen by an average 15.1 percent. This despite a nation recession that occurred in the first years of the 1990s.
A path to citizenship and naturalization could help many people in our state and across the nation to enter into the workforce. This, in turn, would likely benefit the national economy. Because the process is in a state of change and new legislation is being considered, those who find that they require a path to residency may wish to review the applicable laws as they stand in order to better understand the process.
Source: Chron.com, “Amnesty for immigrants spurs greater US employment,” Lorraine Woellert, March 5. 2013