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STATEMENT: U.S. House Immigration Plan Is a Huge Step Forward To Grow the U.S. Economy and Keep Families Together

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee will mark up Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s (D-NY) proposal for the Build Back Better Act, which includes a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS)-eligible individuals, and undocumented essential workers, including farmworkers.

In response, Philip E. Wolgin, acting vice president of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

Today, we are one step closer to long-awaited relief for millions of Dreamers, TPS holders, and essential workers, including farmworkers. These are hardworking, aspiring Americans who contribute every day to our nation’s shared prosperity. An estimated 5 million undocumented workers in the United States have helped fight the coronavirus pandemic and have kept the country running as essential front-line workers. The proposal unveiled by Chairman Nadler would improve the lives of millions of immigrant families and make urgently needed investments to ensure that our country’s economic recovery is as big and equitable as it needs to be to meet the challenges we face.

As the Center for American Progress has long argued, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants would grow our economy, create new jobs, and ensure that families stay safe and together. A previous CAP study found that creating a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, individuals eligible for TPS, and undocumented immigrants in essential occupations, including farmworkers, would grow U.S. gross domestic product by $1.5 trillion, raise the annual wages of all workers by $600, and create more than 400,000 new jobs over the next decade.

Recently, more than 50 of the nation’s leading economists sent a letter to Congress urging them to include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in a final budget reconciliation package, arguing that “granting a pathway to citizenship for millions of aspiring Americans will bring expansive economic benefits to communities across the country—while having a significant impact on the federal budget—not only for the individuals directly affected, but for the larger systems—families, and the workforce—that they comprise.”

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