The forgotten economics of immigration reform

Sadly, most Americans do not realize the smart economics of bringing 11 million immigrants out of the shadows and making them citizens.

For some reason, many Americans just do not realize that if those 11 million immigrants could have an enormous impact on the economy. They would generate billions in local, state and federal taxes, trigger an increase in consumer spending and spark rapid growth in the housing sector. Sound like a good move to get the economy out of the doldrums? Most economists would think so, and truth be told, most politicians realize that would be the case, as well. However, it is more in their own political interests to use illegal immigrants to parlay their party into power.

Polls are now consistently demonstrating that at least 84 percent of Americans would agree with allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. and become citizens, particularly if they have been in the country for a number of years, are employed and pay back taxes. Sounds pretty simple and in some ways, it is. However, when you add in politics, things get far more complicated than they need to be, and ultimately, nothing gets done, again.

The Center for American Progress (CAP) indicates that new immigration reform would add at least 1.4 trillion to the U.S. GDP over a 10-year period. That’s a staggering amount of money, which would help the U.S. economy regain stability. However, anti-immigrant advocates want to derail any attempts at immigration reform, even though they know the federal deficit could be reduced. Serious money has the potential to hit the table, and yet, stalling is the political order of the day. Odd, given the fact that several American cities have gone bankrupt or are considering going bankrupt.

These days, local mayors and counselors, state and national leaders and the federal government are all scrambling to find ways to balance their budgets and kick-start their job growth numbers. The answer is right in front of them, and yet they still do nothing, because their constituents do not want anyone else taking advantage of the American dream.

Somewhere along the line, the tenet that we are “one nation and one people” was sidelined into bigotry, hatred, and an attitude of supremacy over others. Gone are the days of tolerance and working together, recognizing that we are all human, no matter what color we are or where we come from. It’s sad to see the nation in such a divisive mode. At this rate, nothing will be accomplished when it comes to immigration reform. More’s the pity.

Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, PA is immigration law firm in Orlando and Miami Florida. To learn more, visit