RELEASE: DREAM Act Passage to Add $329B to U.S. Economy, 1.4M Jobs by 2030

Listen to today’s press call here.
View national data here and state data here.

Washington, D.C. — Today the Center for American Progress and the Partnership for a New American Economy hosted a press call to release “The Economic Benefits of Passing the DREAM Act,” a major new study that finds that the passage of the DREAM Act—a bill that would grant a pathway to legal status to an estimated 2.1 million eligible youth who were brought here at a young age and who complete high school and some college or military service—would add $329 billion to the U.S. economy and create 1.4 million new jobs by 2030, a significant boost to our nation’s fiscal health.

“DREAMers are committed to America and to becoming full Americans,” said Angela Maria Kelley, CAP Vice President for Immigration Policy. “This report makes crystal clear how the power of their commitment to this nation translates into a $329 billion contribution to our collective economic health. Just doing the math leaves little room to conclude anything but that DREAM is common sense for our common good.”

“I authored the DREAM Act 11 years ago because I believe that it is an issue of justice. But it is also an issue of job creation and economic growth,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). “This report is further evidence that passing the DREAM Act isn’t just the right thing to do for these talented and motivated young immigrants, but it’s also the right thing to do for the American economy.”

dream economy

Our research finds that the DREAM Act provides a double boost to the economy. First, the bill creates a strong educational incentive, since eligible DREAMers must complete high school and some college or military service to qualify. Simply put, more education translates into better-paying jobs. Second, legal status itself allows DREAMers to use their skills to obtain better jobs in general. Overall we find that by 2030, eligible DREAMers will earn 19 percent higher wages than they would without the DREAM Act. And as these DREAMers spend their earnings on things like cars, houses, or iPods, more money would ripple through the American economy, supporting further economic growth and jobs, and benefiting all Americans, native born and immigrant alike.

“This report proves a fundamental truth about the contributions of immigrants to the American economy: We absolutely need them to continue our economic growth,” said New York City Mayor and Partnership for a New American Economy Co-Chair Michael R. Bloomberg. “Whether it’s the DREAM Act or STEM visa legislation, Washington must enact immigration policy changes that will create American jobs and boost our economy.”

This research builds upon earlier work by the Center for American Progress—which found that passing comprehensive immigration reform would add a cumulative $1.5 trillion to the U.S. economy over 10 years—and highlights the economic growth potential from America’s immigrant population.

Listen to today’s press call here.
View national data here and state data here.

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To speak with CAP experts about this report, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or