Obama’s economic case for an immigration overhaul in 3 charts

On Wednesday morning, the White House released a lengthy report making the economic case for overhauling immigration laws in a manner consistent with a bill that passed the Senate late last month. The report comes as the White House is planning a more public campaign to pressure House Republicans to pass an overhaul in coming months -- an outcome that is looking increasingly unlikely.

The report argues that overhauling immigration laws -- by providing funds for border security, creating a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants, and encouraging immigration by foreigners with special skills -- will help grow the economy faster, encourage innovation and reduce the nation's debt. Here's Obama's argument in three charts, all taken from the report.

 Obama argues that overhauling immigration laws will speed up economic growth, making the economy more than 3 percent larger than it would have otherwise been over the next decade, and more than 5 percent larger than it would have otherwise been over the next two decades. He borrows the conclusion from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, whose recent analysis of the Senate immigration bill underpins much of the administration's report.

 The report also notes that by encouraging immigration to the United States by foreigners with special skills -- like in engineering -- or offering citizenship to immigrants who start successful companies, the bill could spur new entrepreneurial growth. As this chart notes, immigrants are an increasingly large part of the population forming new companies.

 Finally, the administration argues that an immigration overhaul would be good for the nation's books. In this chart, the red line shows the ratio of the nation's debt to the overall economy. The light blue and dark blue line are different estimates of that ratio with the immigration bill passed.

Zachary A. Goldfarb is policy editor at The Washington Post.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Politics
Next Story
Aaron Blake · July 10, 2013