RELEASE: New CAP Analysis Estimates State- and Industry-Level Economic Impact of Passing the Dream Act
Washington, D.C. — New estimates about the economic benefits of passing the bipartisan Dream Act at the state and industry levels, published today by the Center for American Progress, find that all across the nation, states such as California, Texas, Florida, and Illinois would see significant positive impacts to the state’s GDP and gains in several key industries. Even states with fewer numbers of eligible workers would see big gains, according to the analysis based on a groundbreaking model previously used in a CAP study estimating the number of workers each state and industries within them would lose if a policy of mass deportation were instituted.
These estimates add to CAP’s existing analysis around the Dream Act, which found that passing S. 1615 in the Senate and H.R. 3440 in the House, putting potentially eligible workers on a pathway to citizenship, would add at least $281 billion and as much as $1 trillion to the national GDP over a decade.
“This study is yet more evidence of just how powerful a catalyst the Dream Act would be for states and industries, including construction, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality. It’s no surprise we’ve seen business and elected leaders from across the country show their support for passing the Dream Act immediately,” said Philip E. Wolgin, managing director for the Immigration Policy team at the Center for American Progress and co-author of the analysis. “In the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA, advocates, Dreamers, and their families are all looking to Congress to pass the Dream Act and provide permanent protection and a pathway to citizenship for a community that, for the most part, has only ever called the United States their home. Dreamers’ lives have an impact on every American in every state, often without them truly knowing to what extent. Analysis like this helps bring into focus a more complete picture of Dreamers in America.”
Among the states highlighted in the analysis, estimates include the following:
- In California, the study finds that with the 515,000 immediately eligible workers, the Dream Act would add up to $20.3 billion every year to the state’s GDP.
- In Texas, 306,000 immediately eligible workers would help add up to $11.4 billion each year to the state’s GDP and up to $2 billion specifically to the construction sector, which is key considering that the state is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.
- In Florida, 117,000 immediately eligible workers would contribute to up to $4.1 billion every year to the state’s GDP. The construction sector in Florida will also be of utmost importance as the state recovers from the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, and passing the Dream Act would add up to $416 million to the construction sector each year in Florida.
- In Illinois, with the 96,000 immediately eligible workers, the Dream Act would add up to $4 billion every year to the state’s GDP.
In addition to the construction industry, the report looks at industries such as leisure and hospitality, agriculture, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and educational and health services.
Click here to view CAP’s analysis, “The State-by-State Economic Benefits of Passing the Dream Act.”
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