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Immigration Reform Good For Nation: U.S. Catholic Bishops

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The chairman of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, MSpS, a member of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit and auxiliary bishop of Seattle, has written on behalf of the committee regarding current immigration reform. In a blog post, Bishop Elizondo stated that a 1986 law, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), made life for immigrants better by lifting many out of poverty. He hopes new legislation will do even more good:

Passage of immigration reform in 2014 likely would have the same impact. Because of their lack of legal status, approximately 20 percent of undocumented workers (and their families) in low-skilled industries today live below the poverty line. A University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) study showed that for the three years following a legalization program, undocumented workers would experience an increase in net income of $30 to $36 billion. This would have benefits for all U.S. citizens because it would generate $4.5 to $5.4 billion in tax revenues and consumer spending sufficient to support nearly 900,000 jobs.

Immigration reform legislation also would help reduce the U.S. government’s deficit. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), enactment of S. 744, immigration reform legislation passed by the U.S. Senate, would reduce the federal deficit by $158 billion by 2023, due to increased tax revenue and economic activity.

Immigration reform is a win-win for both immigrant workers and their families and U.S. citizens.

Read “Immigration Reform Would Lift Immigrant Families Out of Poverty, Benefit Nation” at the USCCBlog.

Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.

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