Federal DREAM Act Would Add $329 Billion to Economy, Create 1.4 Million New Jobs
Passing the federal DREAM Act would add billions of dollars to the U.S. economy, according to a new report by the Center American Progress that provides national and state-by state data.
According its findings, passing the DREAM Act would add $329 billion to the U.S. economy and create 1.4 million new jobs by 2030. This proves that providing a pathway to U.S. citizenship through access to higher education for an estimated 2.1 undocumented youth living in the U.S. would add a much-needed economic boost to our country’s economy.
The report notes:
We find in this report that enabling these 2.1 million eager-to-be-Americans to contribute to building the American Dream would deliver a double boost to our economy. First, enacting the law would provide an incentive for their further education because for most of those who would be eligible the legalization provisions can only be attained through completion of high school and some college. Receiving more education opens access to higher-paying jobs, enabling these undocumented youth to become much more productive members of our society. Second, gaining legal status itself translates intohigher earnings for these youth since legal status allows DREAMers to apply to a broader range of high-paying jobs rather than having to resort to low-wage jobs from employers who are willing to pay them under the table.
It’s a fairly easy formula to understand. The DREAM Act incentivizes higher education—when you receive advanced education, your earning potential goes up. Additionally, when you allow for an individual to adjust her immigration status, job opportunities that would have otherwise not been available also open up. The combination creates for a highly educated workforce that results in new jobs, new skills, and new tax revenue.
The report, published by our parent organization, proves that passing the DREAM Act doesn’t just benefit DREAMers or the immigrant community—it’s a benefit for all Americans.
DREAMers have achieved significant wins for the immigrant community in the past couple of years to ensure that more undocumented youth have access to higher education and to prevent families from being separated. However, the debate on reforming our broken system remains stalled.
It’s clear that this issue goes beyond the 2.1 million DREAMers in need of adjusting their status: It’s an economic issue that affects all of us.
Eduardo Garcia is advocacy manager at Campus Progress. Follow him @itseddie.
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