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Report: Deportations Could Hurt U.S., Texas Economies

A new report says mass deportation of unauthorized immigrants could seriously hurt construction and other industries in Texas and across the U.S. (Josch13/Pixabay)
A new report says mass deportation of unauthorized immigrants could seriously hurt construction and other industries in Texas and across the U.S. (Josch13/Pixabay)
September 26, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas — According to a new report, Donald Trump's proposal to deport all unauthorized immigrants from the country would have devastating effects on the American economy.

The study from the Center for American Progress said that removing 7 million unauthorized immigrants from the U.S. workforce would reduce the nation's Gross Domestic Product by almost $5 trillion over the next decade.

Tom Jawetz, vice president for immigration policy with the Center, said the Texas economy – which has a significant percentage of unauthorized immigrants in its workforce – could shrink by $60 billion over the same period.

"Thirteen percent of the state's GDP that's derived from construction would be lost,” Jawetz said. "Ten percent of the state agricultural industry will be lost, and in leisure and hospitality, $6 billion annually would be lost. That's 12 percent of the GDP, from that one industry alone."

Jawetz said industries such as manufacturing, mining, and wholesale and retail trade would also be hit hard, both across the country and in Texas.

Undocumented immigrants make up almost 9 percent of the Lone Star State's workforce, second only to California.

Jawetz said it's unlikely there would be enough qualified American citizens to replace the deportees, potentially causing a worker shortage.

"Pursuing mass deportation of unauthorized workers - that's 5 percent of the country's total workforce - would reduce the national Gross Domestic Product by 2.6 percent,” he warned. "That's a cumulative $4.7 trillion over a decade and would decrease federal revenues by $900 billion over that period."

Reforming the nation's immigration policy could reap sizeable economic benefits, Jawetz said.

"If our immigration laws were modernized and updated to reflect the real needs of American businesses, American families, American communities,” he said, "then we would be able to supercharge the economic benefits that we already receive from immigration."

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - TX