Data: $900+ Million In Estimated GDP Gains For Long Island If Dream Act Passed

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Long Island stands to gain up to $907.8 million in potential GDP growth across its four Congressional districts if the Dream Act were to be passed, according to recently updated data from the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).

With the crippling blow of rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) dealt to Dreamers this year, the time is more critical than ever for Congress to pass the Dream Act, which was first introduced in 2001.

More and more research is showing that our young Dreamers contribute massively to national and regional economies, adding a much-needed base of hard-working, skilled, and educated workers.

“That said, given that the model only includes the 1.9 million immediately eligible Dreamers in the workforce, not those who will age into eligibility, it could be considered a conservative estimate,” the CSII report noted.

Under the 2017 iteration of the Dream Act, undocumented immigrants need to meet the basic requirements including coming to the United States before the age of 18, as well as living in the country for at least four years.

Clearing that, to qualify for Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR) status, they must be enrolled in school, or possess a high school diploma or equivalent. Also, they must demonstrate a good moral character with no serious criminal background and pass a medical exam.

CPR status would cancel existing deportation orders on individuals and set them on a pathway toward citizenship.

In Lee Zeldin’s district, there are 5,300 meeting the basic requirements for the Dream Act, while 3,900 would qualify for CPR status. If the legislation were enacted, the estimated annual boost in GDP would be as high as $155,588,000.

In Peter King’s Congressional district, there are 9,000 individuals who meet basic requirements, while 6,300 would be eligible for CPR. Annual GDP gains could be up to $263,167,000.

As for Thomas Suozzi’s district, there are 6,400 who meet basic requirements, with 4,800 who would qualify for CPR. Here, GDP could be increased by as much as $187,741,000.

In Kathleen Rice’s district, there are 10,300 meeting basic requirements, with 5,900 eligible for CPR. This could rake in $301,317,000 in GDP gains.

Not only is passing a clean Dream Act the right, compassionate thing to do, but a growing body of data points to enormous economic gains for the nation.

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Jano Tantongco is the online editor of Long Island Wins. He's previously worked in community journalism as a staff reporter for The Long Islander and The Queens Courier. He aims to pursue truth through a combination of rational inquiry and intuition. He also enjoys bossa nova, road trips and zen philosophy.

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