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.