Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Passing Dream Act Could Add At Least $281 billion to U.S. GDP Over 10 Years
Press Release

RELEASE: Passing Dream Act Could Add At Least $281 billion to U.S. GDP Over 10 Years

Click here to watch the livestream of CAP’s event, “Immigrants Are Welcome Here: State and Local Actions During the Trump Era,” Wednesday, September 20th at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Washington, D.C. — Today the Center for American Progress released new analysis calculating that passing the Dream Act and placing all of the potentially immediately eligible workers on a path to legal status would add a total of $22.7 billion annually to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Because the gains from legalization grow each year, the cumulative increase in GDP over 10 years would be $281 billion.

CAP’s analysis, which includes industry-specific breakdowns for select industries, is based off of the economic model developed in a groundbreaking report by CAP that calculated the economic impacts that mass deportation would have on each state and in every industry.

“Findings such as these serve to illustrate a point that countless reports and advocates have been making for years: Dreamers are important threads in the fabric of our society, whose contributions are immeasurable socially and tangible economically,” said Philip E. Wolgin, managing director of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, and co-author of the report. “On a per capita basis, passing the Dream Act would ultimately raise the average incomes of all Americans by between approximately $82 and $273 annually, which demonstrates how the success of this group benefits them and our nation. Conservative and progressive economists and analysts agree on this: Passing the Dream Act would significantly improve the American economy.”

When the analysts took into account what they term an “education bump”—achieved when a portion of those workers immediately eligible for the Dream Act complete the educational requirements to move from conditional status to lawful permanent residency through the educational pathway—the annual gains could be even higher than $281 billion, reaching as high as $728.4 billion cumulatively over a decade.

Extrapolating the findings to the entire population who may one day be eligible for the Dream Act—either when they age into eligibility or complete the educational requirements—the report finds that economic gains could be roughly 42 percent higher, as much as a cumulative $400 billion increase to the GDP over a decade. With the education bump, the gains could be as high as a cumulative $1 trillion in GDP over a decade.

Click to read the full brief, “The Economic Benefits of Passing the Dream Act,” by Francesc Ortega, Ryan Edwards, and Philip E. Wolgin.

For more information or to speak to an expert on this topic, please contact Tanya Arditi at [email protected] or 202.741.6258.