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CIR Means Jobs

Aug 7, 2013

Comprehensive Immigration Reform, or CIR, will change our country for the better. It won't just bring 11 million hardworking men and women out of the shadows, keep families together and create a pathway to achieving the American Dream, it will also supercharge our economy.

We know our immigration system is broken. It is important to remember that the entire system is broken and we have to fix the entire thing at once. That is what the "comprehensive" part of CIR entails, and it is what will help improve our economy.

Right now, our farms do not have a stable workforce. Our borders are not adequately protected. Far too many high tech companies are short the workers they need to continue to innovate. Our schools attract the best and brightest from around the world, but we can’t keep that talent here.

We know what needs to be fixed and why. So, what happens once we fix the problems? 

Successful implementation of Comprehensive Immigration Reform will cut the deficit, create manufacturing and job opportunities nationwide and create more than 100,000 AMERICAN JOBS every year for ten years. We will see $832 billion being pumped into our economy over the first 10 years.

As producers and consumers, undocumented immigrants grow the economic pie by at least $36 billion a year. Legalization would triple that number, with various studies pointing to a $1 trillion impact on GDP in ten years.

The independent Social Security Actuary, nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and others have estimated that undocumented immigrants would pay more in both federal and state taxes, once they come out of the shadows and work legally. This would happen, in part, because legal status leads to a rise in income. According to the CBO, the additional taxes paid by new and legalizing immigrants would not only offset the estimated cost of the Senate immigration bill, but would be substantial enough to reduce the deficit by nearly $850 billion over the next 20 years. Because providing an earned path to citizenship would allow currently undocumented workers to work fully legally, the Institute for Taxation and Economy Policy estimates that they would pay as much as $2 billion per year in additional state and local taxes, above and beyond the $11 billion in taxes these workers already pay each year.

With these economic impacts in mind, Rep. Cárdenas has  written several op/eds about the economic impact. He also brought together more than a dozen of his freshman colleagues to speak about this issue on the House floor. He also hosted the first bipartisan briefing in the House of Representatives, illustrating a critical report showing the state by state benefits of immigration reform, with Rep. Jeff Denham, a California Republican.

In fact, letters representing hundreds of corporations and dozens of Republican donors have been sent to the President and Congressional leadership, urging them to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Quite simply, this is an American issue, not a Democratic or Republican issue. It’s like James Carville said 20 years ago when President Clinton was running for office: It’s the economy, stupid.

In 2012, voters sent new Congresspeople to Washington to solve problems like our broken immigration system and that’s what Rep. Cárdenas wants to do.

It’s time to make immigration reform a reality, and it’s absolutely time to let people know what that reality will mean for their pocketbooks.

So, what exactly will happen to the economy? These charts explain the monetary and job benefits the United States can look forward to when 11 million people come out of our nation's shadows and are able to work hard to build our economy:

The benefits to California

National GDP and jobs growth

The total economic benefits
for all Americans

In fact, dozens of Chambers of Commerce throughout California have written Rep. Cardenas, calling on him to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Finally, learn more about the impact Comprehensive Immigration Reform will have in these reports:

" Immigration reform would streamline the process for highly-skilled and highly-educated workers to come to the U.S. and build businesses that create jobs for Americans." - The White House   CIR, "...would decrease federal budget deficits by $197 billion" - Congressional Budget Office   "Gross domestic product is expected to increase by $10.32 billion in 2014 and $49.93 billion in 2018." - Regional Economic Models Inc.
    "On average over 10 years, immigration reform would create 121,000 new jobs each year." - Center for American Progress   "The positive impact for U.S. households of legalization ... would be 1.27 percent of GDP or $180 billion." - CATO Institute