Arizona Economy Would Gain $500 Million If Undocumented Won Citizenship, Report Says

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Study says Arizona to see economic advantage if U.S. grants citizenship.

If the United States passed legislation granting citizenship to the undocumented population, Arizona's economy would grow by $500 million in the first five years, according to a report by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy.

The immigration reform bill passed in the Senate and now in the U.S. House of Representatives could set a path -- although a lengthy, 13 year-long path -- that could grant undocumented immigrants legal status. The report assumes the financial gain that legitimate status could bring to undocumented immigrants in Arizona, excluding DREAMers, starting in 2026.

See also:
Border Crossings and Apprehensions Decrease, Migrant Deaths in Desert Still High
Border Patrol Arrests in Arizona Lowest in Nearly Two Decades

"Generally speaking," says Mike Slaven, a policy analyst and the study's author, "having more people out of the shadows is better and will increase the size of the economy."

Arizona's undocumented labor force is about 190,000, or about 7 percent of the state's total workforce.

The study eliminates other factors and examines only the impact of granting citizenship to these workers. This group, who labor in the economy's gray areas, are mostly middle-aged men who arrived in the country before 2000 and raise a family on about $36,000 a year.

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