Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Immigration Reform Heats Up

I listened this morning to Power Breakfast from Capitol News Connection, a 2-minute briefing on a hot topic of the coming day on Capitol Hill. This Power Breakfast, by CNC Senior Correspondent Elizabeth Wynne Johnson, focused on two topics , Immigration Reform and Government Transparency. I want to focus on Immigration Reform this morning.

Immigration Reform
Legalization of America's low-skilled illegal workers (undocumented immigrants) could deliver $180B benefit to US households, according to a study released this week by the Cato Institute. The Cato Institute is a "pro-free market, libertarian think tank" in Washington DC, according to this page in wikipedia.

Their study reveals that legalization of these low-skilled workers would benefit the US economy and the immigrants. It would also reduce or eliminate many of the negative elements associated with illegal immigration: smugglers' fees, low productivity, unfilled entry-level jobs, etc.

Tighter restrictions on undocumented workers already in the US would end up costing the US economy. While restrictions may show initial costs savings, these would be offset by lower economic output and fewer job opportunities for skilled workers.

In dollars and cents:
- Tighter restrictions. reducing the number of low-skilled immigrant workers by 28.6, would show a temporary gain of 0.5 percent, or $80B. This figure was reached by projecting a reduction of US household welfare.

- Legalization of low-skilled immigrant workers could show a gain of $180B.

One conclusion from the study:
Reduced Immigration Causes Drops in Investment, Output, and Consumption

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