Thursday, December 18, 2008

Changing debate on immigration and the economy

Experts say a one-year pause in immigration would reduce GDP by $171B and cause 1M legal US workers to lose their jobs.

TUCSON -- There's a consensus among economists and policy analysts that immigrant labor benefits the economy on whole -- and dramatically so. And while the beneficial role of immigrant labor in the economy may be muted now, as demand for labor is relatively weak, speakers at the recent "Immigration and the Economy" forum in Phoenix suggested that the negative effects of curbing immigration may well be felt more acutely when the economy rebounds.

Participants in the forum -- which was co-sponsored by the Arizona State University WP Carey School of Business, The University of Arizona and others -- agreed that the "character" of immigration has changed since the US government began cracking down on illegal immigration, especially in US-Mexico border states like Arizona. That has altered the way immigration effects the economy, participants said -- and likely not for the better.


- from ASU

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