White House: Immigration reform would benefit economy

July 10, 2013 at 7:02 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, July 10 (UPI) -- The White House Wednesday issued a report concluding a Senate-passed immigration reform bill would promote economic growth and decrease U.S. budget deficits.

The report -- titled "The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System" -- was prepared by the President's National Economic Council, Domestic Policy Council, Office of Management and Budget, and the Council of Economic Advisers.

It found legislation passed by the Senate and awaiting House action would strengthen the overall economy, result in gross domestic product growth, foster innovation and promote employment.

"The Congressional Budget Office estimated that enacting the Senate immigration reform bill will increase real GDP relative to current law projections by 3.3 percent in 2023 and 5.4 percent in 2033 -- an increase of roughly $700 billion in 2023 and $1.4 trillion in 2033 in today's dollars," the White House said.

It said the immigration bill would result in "higher productivity and investment" as well as stronger growth in the technology, tourism, hospitality, agriculture and housing industries.

The report concluded immigration reform "will reduce the federal budget deficit by nearly $850 billion over the next 20 years."

"In addition, the independent Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration has found that immigration reform will improve the long-term financial standing of Social Security by adding younger workers to the U.S. workforce," the White House said. "The 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 benefits are clear," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday.

"The fact that there is a broad bipartisan consensus behind this is clear," he said. "It cannot be acceptable broadly and in the long term that immigration reform would be blocked because some minority of House Republicans is concerned about a primary challenge from the far right. That's not a good argument. It's not a good argument politically, it's certainly not a good argument economically."

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