Friday, July 11, 2014
In light of President Barack Obama’s announcement last week that he has requested recommendations from Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to help fix the nation’s immigration system, CAP experts have outlined the reasons why establishing a deferred-action program for undocumented immigrants would help American workers.
The most significant step President Obama can take toward fixing our immigration system would enable eligible undocumented immigrants to register with the government, request temporary protection from deportation, and apply for a work permit. Bringing undocumented immigrants into the folds of our society and economy would benefit all Americans.
The benefits of a deferred-action program for American workers are:
• Immigrants with temporary status would contribute more in tax revenues.
• Undocumented immigrants who can work legally would improve the productivity of our labor market.
• A deferred-action program would create jobs as undocumented immigrants spend more money in their communities.
• Granting temporary status would increase the wages of American workers.
• Giving legal status to unauthorized workers would improve employment protections for all workers.
While expanding temporary protection from deportation to certain undocumented immigrants clearly benefits American workers and the economy as a whole, experts point out that these gains are only a partial fix to the system as a whole.
“The benefits will be much deeper and wider once Congress overcomes its paralysis and passes comprehensive immigration reform,” said Marshall Fitz, CAP Director of Immigration Policy and co-author of the analysis. “As American workers wait for Congress to pass immigration reform, they would be wise to welcome the president extending temporary status to undocumented immigrants.”