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Dynamic Scoring of Immigration?

April 1, 2013
By Steven A. Camarota

In this Backgrounder for CIS, Camarotta looks at the core of Holtz-Eakin's argument. The author claims that it is that immigration makes the economy larger in the future by increasing the population.

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In this Backgrounder for CIS, Camarotta looks at the core of Holtz-Eakin's argument.  The author claims that it is that immigration makes the economy larger in the future by increasing the population. This he believes will change behavior, thereby increasing productivity, income, and resulting tax payments. To be clear, the author does not cite any research showing immigration itself increases per capita GDP. Nor does he ever discuss the fiscal impact of legalizing 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants. The article is too speculative about the benefits of increasing population growth. Yet a number of advocates of high immigration have latched on Holtz-Eakin's claim that dynamic analysis means that amnesty would be a boon for the treasury.

One of the most glaring omissions of the article is that it never mentions the fiscal impact of legalizing 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants. He never discusses any research on the actual taxes paid and public benefits used by immigrants generally or illegal immigrants in particular. Moreover, he never clearly explains the reform he has in mind, though he seems to want to increase the number of people allowed into the country and move to a more skills-based system. He buttresses his argument by making some generalizations about immigrants that are at best overstatements and in some cases demonstrably incorrect.

 

 


Dr. Steven Camarota serves as the Director of Research for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a Washington, DC-based research institute that examines the consequences of legal and illegal immigration on the United States. The Center promotes an informed debate on comprehensive immigration reform by providing policymakers, academics, media, and citizens with fact-based information on immigration.

 

Article Tags
Employment Immigration