President Obama and Democrats continue to push for immigration reform in the House.
A new recent report provides Texans with the economic benefits fixing our nation's broken immigration system would have on our state.
Providing a pathway to earned citizenship for immigrants and expanding high-skilled and other temporary worker programs would boost Texas's economic output by $3.8 billion and create approximately 43,097 new jobs just next year. By 2045, boost to Texas's economic output would be around $18.9 billion.
The report also shows how immigrants already create large important contributions to our states' economy. Currently, Texas's labor force is 21.1% foreign-born. Roughly 25% of Texas business owners are immigrants, which are helping generate $10 billion in income for Texas each year.
Just last month, Congressman Pete Gallego, (D-Alpine), received a no for a response from State Comptroller Susan Combs to update a study on the fiscal impact of Texas' population of undocumented immigrants.
This answer came despite an earlier report showing deporting Texas' immigrant population would mean a “$17.7 billion impact on the state's economy as well as state revenues generated by undocumented immigrants.”
These types of actions are certainly not very reflective of the 67% of Texas residents that support enacting commonsense comprehensive immigration reform.
Read more on the numbers and see why immigration reform means fiscal opportunity after the jump.The report highlights the points that immigration reform will strengthen Texas's economy and creates jobs; foster innovation and encourage job creation in Texas; increase workers' income, resulting in new state and local tax revenue; contribute to the recovery of Texas's housing market and strengthen Texas's technology, agriculture, and tourism industries, among others; and that many Texas residents and stakeholders support comprehensive immigration reform.
Providing a pathway to earned citizenship and expanding high and low-skilled visa programs would increase total personal income for Texas families by $15.2 billion in 2020.
Immigration reform would have increased state and local taxes paid by immigrants in Texas by approximately $92 million in 2010. Immigrants have also significantly increased home values in Texas between 2000 and 2010. For example, in Harris County, the increase was $26,702 for the median home.
Agriculture is huge in our state. There are 247,437 farms in Texas that sell approximately $21.0 billion in agricultural products. Noncitizen farmworkers accounted for more than 35% of all farmworkers in Texas between 2007 and 2011. It'd be impossible to maintain prices without this labor force.
An expanded temporary worker program would mean 4,721 new jobs for U.S. citizens and immigrants (including jobs not only in agriculture, but retail trade, construction, and other sectors), and increase Texas's real personal income by $286 million in 2020.
Aside from economic growth and more jobs, the report also points out that immigration reform would also reduce the federal deficit and strengthen Social Security.
Additional taxes paid by new and legalizing immigrants would improve the federal budget outlook in both the short and long-term. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found enacting the Senate immigration reform bill would reduce the federal budget deficit by nearly $850 billion over the next 20 years.
Immigrants would help balance out an increase in retirees-per-worker as the baby boom generation retires, strengthening the Social Security program. The independent SSA Actuary estimates that the Senate's immigration reform bill will add nearly $300 billion to the Social Security Trust Fund over the next decade and would improve Social Security's finances over the long run, extending Social Security solvency by two years.
The White House has even provided us with a video:
Reports like the ones the White House have been providing the public show light on just how important immigrant reform is to the economy of our state and country.