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The Economic Benefits of Administrative Action

Earlier this week, the Center for American Progress released a study on the economic benefits of potential administration action executed by the Obama Administration. While this is all purely speculative now, especially seeing as the President appears to be delaying any executive actions on immigration reform, it is enlightening and encouraging to quantify the economic benefits that would result from some administrative action. The author, Patrick Oakford, analyzes the potential benefits to a deferred action program that would grant temporary work permits to long term residents or parents of US citizen children. Oakford then breaks this group up into three categories: undocumented immigrants who have lived in the US for 10 years, undocumented immigrants who have lived in the US for 5 years, and parents of US citizen minors.

Oakford finds that temporary work permits would increase undocumented immigrants' earnings by 8.5% because they could find higher paying jobs that match their skills. These higher earnings would also result in more tax revenue for the local, state, and federal government. Giving work permits to immigrants who have been living in the US for 5 years would increase payroll tax revenue by $6 billion in the first year alone, and by over $44 billion over the next five years.

That's a lot of money. Especially in these austere times when local and state governments are hard pressed for resources, we can't turn overlook any source of revenue. Maybe instead of spending billions of dollars on trying to deport these undocumented immigrants, we should try to incorporate them into our communities and economy. It seems much more beneficial to everyone involved. "Administrative Action on Immigration Reform: The Fiscal Benefits of Temporary Work Permits" by Patrick Oakford. The Center for American Progress. content/uploads/2014/09/OakfordAdminRelief-INTRO.pdf

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