On Sunday, April 14th, Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican of Florida, announced his full support for a new immigration bill by appearing on seven television talk shows to promote his bi-partisan plan for immigration reform. This announcement follows weeks of caution from the esteemed Senator and has been called a “game changer.” Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York stated that with this announcement all remaining hurdles have been overcome and there are no more obstacles to putting an immigration bill to the floor in the Senate.
New economic studies from republican think tanks are partly responsible for the new show of support. The most prominent and recent study comes from the American Action Forum (AAF), a conservative policy institution. The AAF argues that new data analysis shows that more immigration will increase growth in a way that cuts the federal budget deficit. Specifically, an overhaul to our nation’s immigration laws could boost GDP growth by one percentage point a year for ten years. The expected tax revenue, according to the AAF’s president, economist Douglas Holtz Eakin, would cut the deficit by $2.5 trillion. The announcement comes at a time when immigration reform is becoming more closely associated with budget reform. Other conservatives are making a similar push, including the Cato institute and Americans for Tax Reform, and making a distinct break with past rhetoric that immigrants take away jobs, drive down wages, or balloon the deficit. One reason for the shift is an acknowledgment that immigrants would help reverse a decline in workforce participation that began a decade ago, and help increase productivity. The Heritage Foundation disagrees, arguing immigration would cost the government $2.6 trillion over 25 years due to increased demand for social services and retirement benefits. But Holtz-Eakin remains confident that immigration reform remains part of the solution, not the problem.
Indianapolis based Griffith Law Group will be tracking developments to the proposed plans for immigration overhaul and how it will affect communities locally in Indianapolis and across the nation.