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Fri Nov 20, 2015, 10:20 PM

Gov. Martin O'Malley says immigration reform will boost workers' paychecks.

'While presidential candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was in Austin on a campaign stop, he said immigration reform would pay off for all Americans through their paychecks.

In a Nov. 12, 2015 interview on "Overheard with Evan Smith," O’Malley discussed President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration, and whether he would take similar action. O’Malley told Smith he believes the country needs immigration reform because it’s "something important for the economy of the United States."

"If we pass immigration reform, it will make wages go up on average $250 for the average household," he elaborated. "Why? Because you’re getting 11 million people in many times off-the-books jobs onto the open economy of the United States of America."

The number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has hovered around 11 million since 2009, according to a July 2015 report from the Pew Research Center, evaluating data through 2014. Undocumented immigrants make up 5.1 percent of the U.S. labor force, Pew reported in July 2015.

We don’t and can’t check predictions. Still, we wondered whether it was true, based on research, that immigration reform could mean $250 more for the average American household, as O’Malley said.

Long-term figure

O’Malley’s campaign press secretary, Haley Morris, said the governor got the $250 figure from a July 2013 White House report, published in support of a 2013 Senate immigration reform bill. That report, "The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System," states that "in the long run, the Senate bill raises wages for all groups of workers by boosting productivity." The White House’s conclusion relies on the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the economic impact of that bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

The $250 figure O’Malley cites is certainly long term. It refers to a rise in wages between 2013 and 2033 – and doesn’t otherwise estimate year-by-year changes. . .

Immigration reform’s effects on the economy extend beyond immediate and long-term effects on average wages. As Gregory Wright, an assistant professor of economics at University of California-Merced who studies international trade and migration, points out, "Immigrants are very entrepreneurial relative to the native population, and high-skill immigrants tend to generate a disproportionate number of patents and are more innovative by other measures." In another section of its report, the CBO specifies that immigrants receive patents at twice the rate of the native-born U.S. population.

Additionally, Wright says, immigration reform would create work through "demand-side channels." "Moving undocumented workers into the open would allow them to raise their own standard of living and they would subsequently demand more housing, education and generally more of all goods and services, which generates work for others," Wright said.

Increasing the sheer number of people in the workforce raises output and consumption, or GDP, Wright says. The CBO estimated that immigration reform would raise real GDP by 3.3 percent in 2023 and by 5.4 percent in 2033.

Immigrants entering the official workforce will then pay taxes, supporting the aging U.S. population, Wright added.' >>>

http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2015/nov/20/martin-omalley/gov-martin-omalley-says-immigration-reform-will-bo/

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