Passing an immigration reform plan that is able to provide a pathway to citizenship may be able to create around 123,000 jobs and help to boost the gross domestic product by around $10.32 billion by 2014 based on information from a new study. A report from the Regional Economic Models Inc. predicts that Arizona would see around 3000 new jobs and around $264 million in economic output by 2014 if a pathway to citizenship was provided. By 2045, there would be over 19,000 new jobs.
The study was presented on Thursday at Capitol Hill during a news conference, where a small group of lawmakers and leaders in business were calling for action on immigration reform. However, there were some who suggested that making a pathway towards citizenship would harm the economy instead of helping it out. The vice president of domestic and economic policy at Heritage Foundation made one such argument. He claims that many of those who would apply for the option would cost the United States more money than they would be able to put back into the economy.
He also suggested that having a pathway to citizenship would harm the welfare system in the country. His alternative was to suggest a temporary agriculture program and a visa program for workers who were able to show high levels of skill. Although there were some who considered his suggestion, there were also those who disagreed. They claimed that the main goal is to focus on growing the economy and encouraging it to flourish after the recession.
The senior director of the federal government affairs at the Western Growers Association said that farmers need to have comprehensive immigration reform instead. He claims that agriculture producers throughout the country need a more legal and stable workforce. He added that restrictions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the mandated use of programs such as E-Verify have actually hurt the industry. Strict immigration laws in Alabama and Georgia have hurt the agriculture industry and the overall economy within those areas. The fear is that unless there is some type of reform that occurs soon, this is a problem that will spread throughout the other states as they try to focus on handling immigration and overlook the impact on agriculture.
Many of the speakers involved said that they hope that the House is able to act soon on immigration reform so that states throughout the country can see information about the economic benefits that were provided in the report. They also hope that farmers will be able to continue providing food supply to the country. The immigration reform suggestion has been causing controversy since it was mentioned, but there are many hopeful people. A pathway to citizenship would provide immigrants with a way to become citizens to the country without having to sacrifice their participation in working or fear that they may lose their jobs that they have worked so hard to find. It would also provide a great amount of jobs throughout the country, which would be greatly received by many.