The Washington Post

Report: DREAM Act would add $329 billion to U.S. economy by 2030

A new think tank report argues that passing the controversial DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legal status for undocumented youth, would not only advance the immigration debate in the U.S., but it would also help the American economy.

The Center for American Progress report, based on data from the American Community Survey, says that passing the DREAM Act for the estimated eligible 2.1 million youth would add $329 billion and 1.4 million new jobs to the U.S. economy by 2030. 

According to the report:

We find in this report that enabling these 2.1 million eager-to-be-Americans to contribute to building the American Dream would deliver a double boost to our economy. First, enacting the law would provide an incentive for their further education because for most of those who would be eligible the legalization provi- sions can only be attained through completion of high school and some college.9 Receiving more education opens access to higher-paying jobs, enabling these undocumented youth to become much more productive members of our society. Second, gaining legal status itself translates into higher earnings for these youth since legal status allows DREAMers to apply to a broader range of high-paying jobs rather than having to resort to low-wage jobs from employers who are willing to pay them under the table. 

Here’s how it works:


Download “The Economic Benefits of Passing the DREAM Act.” 

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He freelances and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.

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