Providing a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. — of which there are 2.6 million in California — would strengthen California’s economy, create more jobs, increase workers’ income and boost the state’s housing economy, according to new information released by the White House on Aug. 1.
According to Regional Economic Models Inc., immigration reform — like the proposed Senate bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship and expand high and low-skilled worker jobs — would bolster the state’s economic production by $7.3 billion and create an estimated 77,000 new jobs in 2014.
The stats are part of a report titled “The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System,” which says that reform would increase total personal income for California families by $29.1 billion in 2020.
Federally, enacting the Senate immigration reform bill would reduce the federal budget deficit by almost $850 billion over the next 20 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Among other findings in the report:
-36.6 percent of California business owners are immigrants. They generate $34.3 billion in income for California each year. Nationwide, more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants.
-34.4 percent of California’s labor force is foreign born.
-Comprehensive immigration reform would have increased state and local taxes paid by California immigrants by an estimated $327 million in 2010.
-Passing the Senate’s immigration bill would increase national GDP by 3.3 percent in 2023 and 5.4 percent in 2033, increasing the economy by about $700 billion in 2023 and $1.4 trillion in 2033.
“Comprehensive immigration reform … is probably more important to California’s economy than that of any other state,” said Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce. “Technology, agriculture and tourism, among others, must have comprehensive immigration reform to survive.”
The Senate passed the proposed immigration bill in late June. The House is expected to vote on the bill in the fall.
To read our in-depth look at immigration issues in the Coachella Valley, ’Faces of Immigration,’ click here: www.mydesert.com/immigration.