(Trends Wide) — A group of economists urged congressional leaders to add a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants to a budget reconciliation bill, arguing that it would boost the US economy, according to a letter obtained by Trends Wide.
The more than 50 economists, including former President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser Jason Furman, cited research and studies that underscore their analysis that immigration reforms would increase wages and productivity across the entire US economy. Even creating jobs and lifting families out of poverty.
The letter adds to the growing clamor from immigrant advocates and Democratic lawmakers who want to show that including immigration reform in any budget reconciliation bill would have an impact on the budget and should therefore be included in the final version of the bill.
The last hope
This is a big gamble for a party that has been promising immigration restructuring for more than a decade, but its leading advocates argue that it is the last hope, potentially in this Congress, that anything gets passed.
“A path to citizenship is a key component of a just, equitable, and robust recovery; and, as mentioned, providing a path to citizenship for millions of aspiring Americans will bring expansive economic benefits to communities across the world. country (while it has a significant impact on the federal budget) not only for the people directly affected, but for the broader systems (families, and the workforce) that make up, “the letter says.
Other signatories are David Dyssegaard Kallick, Director of the Immigration Research Initiative at the Tax Policy Institute; Eileen Appelbaum, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research; and several professors from prestigious universities.
Budget Reconciliation, Democrats’ Plan to Pass Immigration Reforms
Budget reconciliation is how Democrats plan to pass the sprawling $ 3.5 trillion package that would expand the nation’s social safety net, and they also hope to use it as a vehicle to provide a path to citizenship for millions of people. undocumented immigrants. This population includes immigrants who were brought to the US as children, those with temporary protected status, and essential workers.
Democrats first tried to work with Republicans to pass an immigration bill in the Senate, but ran into a wall in negotiations when it became clear that Republicans would not sign if there were no strict border security provisions and restrictions on applicants. asylum.
By passing an immigration measure using budget reconciliation, Democrats can pass it using a simple majority in the Senate, with all 50 Democratic senators voting in favor and Vice President Kamala Harris likely being the runoff vote.
But first, Democrats must get the approval of Senate MP Elizabeth MacDonough, charged with advising the House on how its rules, protocols and precedents work.
Multi-step process that will take time
MacDonough could reject the immigration provisions if he believes they have no real impact on the country’s overall budget.
According to the reconciliation rules, the provisions included must either increase revenues or increase the deficit, and that impact cannot be merely “incidental”. It is uncertain whether immigration reforms will meet those criteria.
Senate Democrat and Republican staff are expected to bring the immigration issue to the Senate MP on Friday to insert into the reconciliation package, according to two sources familiar with the negotiations. It is part of a multi-step process that will take time.
Economists sent a letter to White House officials in February urging that reconciliation be used to pass immigration reforms. Earlier this summer, Biden said he supports the passage of immigration measures through reconciliation.