President Barack Obama is working to push an immigration reform bill through Congress that would enable millions of undocumented immigrants to begin their path to citizenship. This bill is also designed to help educated workers from India and China legally live and work in the U.S. The president is emphasizing the many benefits immigration reform can have for the U.S. economy.
Immigrants boost tax revenue
On average, documented and undocumented immigrants pay out nearly $2000 more in taxes than they will receive in benefits, which helps boost the revenue for the federal government in the U.S. Think Progress conducted a study and found that by legalizing the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, the federal government would accrue between $4.5 and $5.4 billion dollars over the course of three years.
Additional jobs can be created
There are thousands of open positions for low-skilled, non-agricultural workers in the U.S. that legalized immigrants would fill. Twenty-three percent of the labor force in high-tech manufacturing and technology industries in the United States is comprised of immigrants, and many of those immigrants are more highly educated than Americans who hold the same positions. Industries that rely on skilled laborers like construction, food preparation and agriculture would benefit from immigration reform because newly legalized immigrants would support the creation of anywhere between 750,000 and 900,000 new jobs.
International relationships can be strengthened
The majority of immigrants arriving in the U.S. come from Mexico – nearly 30 percent of all immigrants and 58 percent of undocumented immigrants. Mexico’s growing economy makes it an important ally for the U.S., and Mexican immigrants’ link to their home country offers America the opportunity to capitalize on Mexico’s economic expansion. Currently the U.S. has free-trade agreements with 11 of 20 Latin American countries, so immigrant-run businesses in the U.S. can positively contribute to the global marketplace.