Despite what immigration naysayers may think, new figures from the Congressional Budget Office show that the nation’s economy is stronger because of immigrants.

According to a statement by the Director on the budget and economic outlook for the next ten years, the national deficit is smaller than last year because economic output is higher. This is partly the result of more people working, most of them immigrants.

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The government agency’s estimates show that the labor force in 2033 will increase by 5.2 million people. This is primarily due to higher net immigration.

“As a result of those changes in the labor force, we estimate that, from 2023 to 2034, GDP will be greater by about $7 trillion and revenues will be greater by about $1 trillion than they would have been otherwise,” Phillip L. Swagel, CBO’s Director, said. “We are continuing to assess the implications of immigration for revenues and spending.”

The true impact of immigration on the U.S. economy

In 2021, about 45.3 million immigrants called the United States home. This represents 13.6% of the total population. Of these, the most common country of birth is Mexico. Although recent numbers have shown increases in immigrants from nearly every other region of the world.

Of these immigrants, the majority (77%) have some form of legal documentation. However, the total of this population is economically active, representing 17% of the total civilian labor force.

According to CBO figures, the arrival of more immigrants to the United States counteracts the labor force reduction due to the population’s aging. This is because “a significant portion of recent and projected immigrants fall within the 25-54 age group – people’s prime working years.”

Similarly, the CBO highlighted immigrants’ economic contribution through their purchasing power, especially in the housing sector.

“As immigrants often initially reside with family or friends before gradually establishing their own households, the anticipated immigration rates from 2022 to 2026 are expected to sustain demand for new homes into the late 2020s, “Steven Hubbard from Immigration Impact explained.

Thus, the CBO forecasts an average of 1.7 million housing starts per year between 2026 and 2029.

This data comes out at a crucial time

You don’t have to be a fortune teller to know that, in an election year, immigrants are cannon fodder. Anti-immigrant rhetoric attracts more votes than any other. And it is normal for specialists to sound the alarm bells about the impact that immigration cuts could have on the economy.

For the past few weeks, both sides of the Senate aisle have debated a bipartisan agreement to strengthen border security and reduce immigration. However, experts argue that such policies could “slow economic growth.” Furthermore, they could “deepen the demographic problems that hold back the U.S. labor force.”

“The vast majority of population growth that we have in the U.S. right now is from immigration,” Wendy Edelberg, Director of The Hamilton Project and a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, said in an interview.  

“This is a key reason why our labor force grew in the past couple of years. And if it continues, it will be a key reason why our labor force continues to grow,” she added.