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New Report: Immigration Reform = Jobs + Income Boost for MD

PHOTO: A state-by-state analysis finds a positive economic effect in Maryland if undocumented immigrants are granted a pathway to legal status. Photo credit: OSHA.GOV
PHOTO: A state-by-state analysis finds a positive economic effect in Maryland if undocumented immigrants are granted a pathway to legal status. Photo credit: OSHA.GOV
July 18, 2013

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants could increase jobs and incomes in Maryland, according to a new state-by-state analysis.

The nonpartisan Regional Economic Models Inc. examined the potential impact of the immigration-reform legislation that recently passed the U.S. Senate, and found a positive effect in Maryland.

If undocumented immigrants in Maryland get legal status, said Eli Schecker, an economic consultant at the firm, it will boost productivity in the state, add at least 10,000 more jobs and increase per-capita income by $277 by 2020.

"Increased productivity means increased competitiveness, it means increased production, it means increased jobs for everyone," Schecker said, "so you have a tide that raises all boats."

A pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants would boost jobs in Maryland mostly in the construction, health-care and retail industries, he said, adding that a positive impact on the local economy would be felt by every person currently here who is brought into legal status.

"In Virginia and in Maryland, we have that for every person that enrolls in this path to legal status, you'll have increases in more than $1,000 to GDP by 2014," he said.

House Speaker John Boehner has pledged not to bring the Senate bill to a vote. Instead, Republican lawmakers are crafting legislation that would boost border security and offer citizenship to certain immigrants brought here as children.

The report is online at remi.com/immigration-report.

Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD