Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Legalization of Undocumented Workers Proves Economically Advantageous in 7 States
Press Release

RELEASE: Legalization of Undocumented Workers Proves Economically Advantageous in 7 States

New Fact Sheets Crunch Numbers for Nevada, Virginia, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico

Washington, D.C. — Today, while immigration reform and fiscal responsibility are under discussion at the Republican National Convention, the Center for American Progress released “The Consequences of Legalization Versus Mass Deportation,” outlining the economic and fiscal benefits of legalizing undocumented workers in Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Virginia, Colorado, and New Mexico. These findings highlight in concrete terms how devastating “self-deportation” policy proposals would be for these states. By contrast, unleashing these workers’ full potential by enabling them to earn legal status would dramatically grow state economies, increase tax revenues by billions of dollars, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“This CAP report puts into sharp relief yet again that the harsh enforcement policies promoted by immigration hardliners are not only unrealistic but also economically self-defeating,” said Marshall Fitz, Director of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress. “The American public understands that these deportation-only policies are misguided and that’s why voters of all political stripes overwhelmingly favor a ‘both/and’ approach: continuing efforts to secure the border and requiring undocumented immigrants to register, pay a fine, and earn legal status. Our elected leaders have a choice: Catch up to the pragmatism of the American public and help grow our economy, or continue throwing money down the drain on a failed deportation-centric approach that wastes the rich economic potential of our undocumented neighbors.”

The benefits of immigration are clear, and states stand to prosper from forward-looking federal immigration policies or lose out with the perpetuation of harsh and restrictive ones. Immigrants are not just workers; they are consumers and taxpayers. The effects of their labor and consumption on economic growth and fiscal health must be factored in as we consider how to address the situation of a large undocumented workforce.

To speak with CAP experts, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or [email protected].