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    Legalizing undocumented immigrants would hurt the economy


    Immigration helps the economy grow

    Immigration helps the economy grow, and experts have found that comprehensive immigration reform would have substantial benefits.

    A 2007 report by the Bush administration’s White House Council of Economic Advisers found that immigrants increase gross domestic product "by roughly $37 billion per year.” A 2012 Immigration Policy Center report explained that this occurs “because immigrants increase the size of the total labor force, complement the native-born workforce in terms of skills and education, and stimulate capital investment by adding workers to the labor pool."

    In a 2012 report about the economic benefits of comprehensive immigration reform published by the libertarian Cato Institute, UCLA professor and immigration expert Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda found that passing immigration reform would increase GDP by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. He wrote:

    The historical experience of legalization under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act indicates that comprehensive immigration reform would raise wages, increase consumption, create jobs, and generate additional tax revenue. Even though IRCA was implemented during a period that included a recession and high unemployment (1990-91), it still helped raise wages and spurred increases in educational, home, and small business investments by newly legalized immigrants. Taking the experience of IRCA as a starting point, we estimate that comprehensive immigration reform would yield at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) over 10 years.