Today, Congressman José E. Serrano touted the findings of the recently published Center For American Progress study on the effects of passing the DREAM Act, which would give legal status to immigrants brought to the country as children. The study found that in New York State alone, passing the bill would generate 53,500 jobs and nearly $16 billion in new economic activity.
"We've always known that passing the DREAM Act was the right thing to do from a humanitarian point of view, but today we've learned that it also would be a huge economic boost to our state and to our nation," said Congressman Serrano. "In essence the Center for American Progress found that legalizing the dreams and aspirations of the DREAMers would be a windfall for our nation financially. This yet again proves the point that immigration is a positive economic phenomenon for our national economy, despite what anti-immigration activists say.
"The DREAM Act is not comprehensive immigration reform, which is what we desperately need. I would be interested to know the economic effect of a full legalization for all undocumented immigrants. Based on what we learned about the children alone, the positive economic impact of extending citizenship to everyone must be staggering.
"We have always had the moral argument on our side in calling for passage of the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform; it's reassuring to know that we also have the economic argument on our side. Given the state of the slow economic recovery, I think that we can now say "if not now, when' about providing a path to citizenship for the vast numbers of people who came here without papers in search of a better life. Our nation's economy could use the huge boost that they would provide and in turn they would enjoy a shot at a better life, rather than a life lived in the shadows and in fear.
"As we move towards an election, I think it's very important that people ask politicians to take immigration stances based on facts like those contained in this important study. I believe if they do, they will support a pathway to citizenship--both for children and adults. The time has come to give our economy the boost of granting citizenship to both the DREAMers and their parents. We must not continue to ignore their pleas to be allowed to join the American family."