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Study: Obama Immigration Programs Would Mean Higher Wages, GDP Growth

Image: Immigrants Hope To Legalize Children Under Suspended DACA Provisions
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 18: A family fills out an application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), at a workshop on February 18, 2015 in New York City. The immigrant advocacy group Make the Road New York holds weekly workshops to help immigrants get legal status under DACA to work in the United States. An expansion of the national program was frozen by a ruling from a Texas federal judge. The Obama Administration plans to appeal the ruling and, if successful, DACA would allow legalization of up to two million immigrants who entered the United States before they were age 16. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)John Moore / Getty Images
/ Source: NBC News

The president’s executive action immigration programs could mean $103 billion more in wages for those who qualify and a $230 billion increase in the nation’s gross domestic product in 10 years, according to a study issued Thursday by a group supportive of the programs.

The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, calculated the economic benefits the programs, known largely by their acronyms DACA and DAPA, could provide. Under the programs, certain immigrants not here legally could get protection from deportation and work permits.

That would lead to higher wages, opportunities to find jobs that match the immigrants' abilities, greater economic productivity and greater tax revenues, the center said. Those benefits will also mean growth in U.S. economic activity that would create more than 28,000 jobs in the next decade.

The findings were offered as a contradiction to arguments made by governors and attorneys general from 26 states who are challenging the executive action in a lawsuit. They have argued the programs are a financial burden to their states.

Marshall Fitz, the center’s vice president for immigration policy, said the study shows otherwise.

“Whatever reasons the governors and attorneys general have for filing suit, it was not because these policies are going to harm them fiscally or economically,” Fitz said.

But last month, the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for tough immigration enforcement and drastically reduced immigration flow, published an analysis of costs that would stem from lower education levels and lower income levels of those who would qualify for the programs.

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