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Feb 8, 2024, 5:04pm EST
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Immigration ‘will boost US economy by $7 trillion’ over next decade

Insights from Forbes, The Guardian, and The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

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A man wears a shirt showing support for immigrants during a march against a new immigration law along Palm Beach Boulevard in Fort Myers, Florida, on June 28, 2023.
AFP via Getty Images/Joseph Agcaoili
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The News

The ongoing surge of immigration to the United States will boost its economy by $7 trillion over the next decade by expanding the labor force and increasing consumer demand, a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found.

This will add an extra $1 trillion in revenue to the government’s coffers, resulting in an annual budget deficit of 7% by 2034, lower than previously expected.

The CBO report came out the same day Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan border bill that was the product of months of fierce negotiations over immigration, which is shaping up to be a hot-button election issue.

“The U.S. economy has benefited from immigration,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said this week, though he emphasized that he wasn’t telling Congress what to do about the border.

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Economists say immigration is key to economic health

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Sources:  
Forbes, The Economist

Economists have long said that immigration is key to a healthy economy: it can reduce inflation, shore up domestic manufacturing and raise employment rates. As the U.S. population ages, migrants will only become more important. “Without migration and births to foreign-born mothers, the American population as a whole would decline by about 6m in the period between 2014 and 2060,” The Economist reported, citing census data. Despite that, many Americans are still worried about the impact immigration has on the economy, with stark partisan splits. In 2023, a Gallup poll found that 64% of Republicans believed immigrants make the economy worse, compared with 17% of Democrats.

The UK is among the countries grappling with challenges of immigration, such as housing

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Sources:  
The Guardian, The National Post

With immigration a hot topic in countries including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Netherlands as well as the United States, politicians must seek to balance the economic benefits with the increased burden placed on housing, healthcare and transport, The Guardian’s economics editor Larry Elliott argued. “There’s a choice that has to be made: embrace high levels of net migration and fundamentally rethink housing; or reduce net migration to late 20th-century levels and fundamentally rethink the economy,” he wrote.

That’s an issue Canada is also grappling with as it tries to increase immigration, the National Post reported. “The population [growth] is positive, but our infrastructure has to catch up and has to be able to keep pace, or else all of the types of frustrations and issues that we’re seeing today are only going to be magnified,” an infrastructure expert told the outlet.

Democrats cheer latest research and highlight taxes paid by undocumented workers

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Sources:  
Sawyer Hackett, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Democrats took to social media to trumpet the message delivered by the CBO report: Immigrants – contrary to popular Republican talking points – can be hugely beneficial to the economy. “Your yearly reminder that undocumented immigrants pay roughly $12 billion in taxes every year—and contribute far more than they receive in benefits!” Democratic strategist Sawyer Hackett posted on X on Wednesday. In 2017, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found immigrants without papers still contribute an estimated $11.74 billion a year to state and local taxes.

“Turns out immigrants aren’t ‘takers’ after all — they’re givers to the U.S. economy and essential to a sustainable future, especially if we want elder generations to age with dignity,” Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., wrote on X.

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