Source Newsroom: Cornell University
Stephen Yale-Loehr, a leading authority on U.S. immigration and asylum law and professor of law at Cornell University Law School, discusses why immigration reform measures that President Obama mentioned in last night’s State of the Union address can help boost the economy.
“Properly done, comprehensive immigration reform can be a tool in our arsenal to improve our economy. We need to make sure that immigrants don’t hurt U.S. workers. But with a properly balanced approach, immigration can help our economy grow.
“Numerous studies have shown the potential economic benefits of immigration. For example, a study by the National Foundation for American Policy found that each H-1B temporary professional worker who was hired created an average of 7.5 additional jobs for U.S. workers. In addition, a 1997 National Academy of Sciences report concluded that, on average, immigrants generate public revenue that exceeds their public costs over time – approximately $80,000 more in taxes than they receive in state, federal and local benefits over their lifetimes.
“Legalizing immigrants also would help the economy by generating additional taxes, increasing consumption and allowing immigrants to climb the occupational ladder. Latin American immigrants who secured green cards under the 1986 legalization program saw their wages increase between 6 percent and 13 percent, according to several studies.”
NOTE TO MEDIA: For a more detailed analysis of this issue, see Chris Gafner & Stephen Yale-Loehr, “Attracting the Best and the Brightest: A Critique of the Current U.S. Immigration System,” 38 Fordham Urban Law Journal 183 (2010); Demetrios Papademetriou & Stephen Yale-Loehr, “Balancing Interests: Rethinking U.S. Selection of Skilled Immigrants” (1996).