Senate Immigration Bill Would Reduce National Deficit; Bring Jobs to Virginia

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    Today the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights, a broad group of Virginian organizations advocating together for comprehensive immigration reform, applauded the release of a new study on the Senate’s Immigration Bill conducted by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The group’s findings include a $197 billion reduction in the national deficit between 2014 and 2023, after taking into account both new revenues and new costs associated with implementing the bill. Over the next 20 years that number grows to $700 billion.

    "This report illustrates what many of us already know: immigration reform would benefit our struggling economy. It's time for us to fix our broken immigration system and invite the 11.5 million undocumented immigrants living here a chance to become full citizens," said Jon Liss, Executive Director of Virginia New Majority.

    An estimated 2,400 new jobs would be created in Virginia under such a measure, bringing $670 million in new tax revenue into the state coffers. Leni Gonzalez, President of the Board of Directors of the Shirlington Employment and Education Center, elaborated. “Undocumented immigrants want to be treated fairly and continue contributing to the economic wellbeing of our country. Commonsense immigration reform will give them and their families the opportunity to continue working hard, pay taxes and integrate in to the communities they have resided in for many years.”

    Marco Grimaldo, CEO and President of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, added that “For many Virginians, immigration reform is necessitated by strong moral convictions about how we treat our neighbors. But this report clearly demonstrates that the Senate bill is not only the right thing to do, it is a prudent fiscal choice. It will decrease the national deficit while creating new jobs and increasing revenue here in the Commonwealth.”
    The bill at the center of the study, S. 744, was introduced in mid-April by a group of Senators known as the “Gang of Eight.” The bill would create a path to citizenship for currently undocumented individuals, contingent upon substantial completion of heightened border security measures. It would also overhaul the visa program by increasing the number of visas available to high-wage workers, creating a new category of visas for low-wage workers, and changing the number and type of available visas for family members.

     “The CBO report puts numbers to just a few of the valuable impacts the immigration reform bill would have for the national economy,” said Edgar Aranda-Yanoc, Chair of Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO). “Virginia’s growing and thriving immigrant population stands to offer massive increases in tax revenue and jobs for the state economy once these hard-working residents are welcomed out of the shadows and are empowered to participate fully and fairly in our economy.”

    The Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights is a growing coalition of Virginian organizations working together to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. Endorsers and the Coalition’s common principles can be found online at: www.immigrantrightsva.org.