Today, the Heritage Foundation responded to a recent report from the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) and the Center for American Progress (CAP), Raising the Floor for American Workers: The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, in a failed attempt to rebut the report’s finding—that comprehensive immigration reform which includes a legalization program for unauthorized immigrants and flexible limits on future immigration would result in a large economic benefit: $1.5 trillion in additional U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over 10 years.
First, Heritage automatically dismisses as an “assumption” any study which takes as its starting point the well-documented, historical experience of wage and consumption increases following the implementation of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). But Heritage fails to explain why that finding is supposedly wrong.
Heritage is also wrong in saying that “history demonstrates that another amnesty will encourage more people to come here illegally…[it] happened after the 1986 amnesty.” In fact, unauthorized migration did decline in the first years after IRCA was implemented. But, because IRCA failed to create flexible channels for future immigration that would respond to changes in U.S. labor demand, unauthorized migration picked up again in response to unmet demand for immigrant workers.
In other words, Heritage is wrong about both of the premises which it mis-attributes to the IPC/CAP report. Its reviewers appear not to have actually read the report.
Photo by ToastyKen.
FILED UNDER: Restrictionists, undocumented immigration