Economic Effects of Granting Legal Status and Citizenship

Atlanta Immigration Law Firm - The Shirazi Law Group

In Washington, a coalition of women’s groups, including the National Latina
Institute for Reproductive Health and the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s
Rights, participates in a rally supporting immigration reform on Monday, March 18,
2013.

Legal status and the path to citizenship for the 11 undocumented immigrants living
in the United States is a means to economic prosperity of the nation as a whole. A
comprehensive immigration reform will bring about significant economic gains
in terms of earnings, tax revenues, and jobs. Without immigration reform or with
reform that creates a permanent sub-citizen class of residents, the possibility of
economic growth will derail.

Timing of reform is also a key player. The sooner we provide legal status and a path
to citizenship the greater the ability for the nation to maximize an economic return.

Opening the doors to legal status and citizenship enables undocumented immigrants
to earn significantly more than when they are forced to do less economically. Under
the current laws, immigrants are earning far less than their potential, paying less
taxes, and contributing far less to the economy than they could be.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and Current
Population Survey—have documented that U.S. citizens have average incomes that
are 40 percent greater or more than the average incomes of noncitizen immigrants,
both those here legally and the unauthorized.

Providing a road map to citizenship to undocumented immigrants gives them
legal protections that raise their wages, promotes investment in the education and
training of immigrants that eventually pays off in the form of higher wages; allows
access to a broader range of higher-paying jobs; encourages labor mobility; and
makes it more possible for immigrants to start businesses and create more jobs.

The sooner a comprehensive reform is implemented, the sooner Americans will be
able to reap the benefits. Fortunately, there seems to be positive movements being
made by both political parties in Washington.

On Wednesday, a panel of House conservatives gathered to hear Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-
KY) speech on immigration. According to TPM, “after several members expressed
their support for some version of reform, they were asked as a group whether any
one of them disagreed with Paul’s call to legalize the 11 million undocumented
immigrants in the country. The group looked to each other and shook their heads.
Not one raised an objection — at most they said they wanted more details.”

Another the other hand, Rep. Raul Labrador (R- ID), stated, “we shouldn’t create a
second class group that could never become citizens, but we should also not give
them a special pathway that nobody can follow,” Labrador also told the audience
that any bill also needed border enforcement triggers that would be met before
reaching that point.

Legalization for 11 million undocumented immigrants has along the way become
a matter gaining more acceptances on the conservative platform. Many contribute
this, not to the economic benefits that immigrants can bring to the U.S. but as a
result of Mitt Romney’s defeat in the last presidential election.

To find out what you can do to prepare for a possible comprehensive immigration
reform, contact the Shirazi Law Group, experts in Immigration and Nationality
Law. We are happy to address any questions or concerns you may have, feel free to
contact us at your convenience.