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Study: Obama Immigration Programs Would Mean Higher Wages, GDP Growth

2 Apr

The president’s executive action immigration programs could mean $103 billion more in wages for those who qualify and a $230 billion increase in the nation’s gross domestic product in 10 years, according to a study issued Thursday by a group supportive of the programs.

The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, calculated the economic benefits the programs, known largely by their acronyms DACA and DAPA, could provide. Under the programs, certain immigrants not here legally could get protection from deportation and work permits.

That would lead to higher wages, opportunities to find jobs that match the immigrants’ abilities, greater economic productivity and greater tax revenues, the center said. Those benefits will also mean growth in U.S. economic activity that would create more than 28,000 jobs in the next decade.

The findings were offered as a contradiction to arguments made by governors and attorneys general from 26 states who are challenging the executive action in a lawsuit. They have argued the programs are a financial burden to their states.

Marshall Fitz, the center’s vice president for immigration policy, said the study shows otherwise.

“Whatever reasons the governors and attorneys general have for filing suit, it was not because these policies are going to harm them fiscally or economically,” Fitz said.

But last month, the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for tough immigration enforcement and drastically reduced immigration flow, published an analysis of costs that would stem from lower education levels and lower income levels of those who would qualify for the programs.