Legalization Would Boost U.S. Economy, Study Says

Gary Martin, San Francisco Chronicle, January 8, 2010

Legalizing the status of the roughly 12 million undocumented immigrants living in America would create jobs, increase wages and boost the sagging U.S. economy, according to a study released Thursday.


“Immigration has a positive effect on the economy,” Hinojosa-Ojeda [UCLA associate professor Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, the study’s author] told reporters, saying legalizing undocumented immigrants already in the United States could add $1.5 trillion to the gross domestic product over the next 10 years.


Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, disagreed with the study’s conclusions, saying, “Illegal immigrants take jobs from American workers. With 15 million Americans out of work, it’s hard to believe that anyone would give amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants.”


The study was released by the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center, groups that back legalization proposals.

[Editor’s Note: “Raising the Floor for American Workers: The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” by Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, can be downloaded as a PDF file here.]

From Center for American Progress

Experts by Name


John Podesta

Areas of expertise: Federal budget and tax policy, government information, privacy, Patriot Act, civil liberties, security and terrorism, national intelligence issues, regulatory reform, telecommunications security and regulatory policy, environmental issues, technology, federal powers, the judiciary.


From “

Policy Working Groups


Senator Tom Daschle is an advisor to the law firm of Alston and Bird, where he provides strategic advice on public policy issues such as climate change, energy, health care, trade, financial services, and telecommunications. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University and a public speaker. In 2007, he joined with former Majority Leaders George Mitchell, Bob Dole, and Howard Baker to create the Bipartisan Policy Center, an organization dedicated to finding common ground on some of the pressing public policy challenges of our time. He is also Co-Chair of the ONE Vote ’08 Campaign, along with former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, to address health and poverty in the developing world in a more aggressive and successful way.



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