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DREAM Act Could Add $329 Billion To U.S. Economy

October 2nd, 2012 | Amanda Peterson Beadle

The DREAM Act was first introduced as a bipartisan measure in 2001, but has languished in Congress ever since. Republicans have blocked the bill, which would help young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children gain citizenship. President Obama says he supports the policy and issued a directive in June to help protect DREAMers from deportation by giving those who qualify temporary legal status.

But if Congress passed the DREAM Act and granted legal status to eligible undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, it would add an additional $329 billion to the U.S. economy and 1.4 million more jobs by 2030, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress and the Partnership for a New American Economy. Enacting the DREAM Act would boost the economy first by improving the education and job opportunities for young undocumented immigrants in the U.S. A legal status and education contribute to higher earnings:

“This report proves a fundamental truth about the contributions of immigrants to the American economy: we absolutely need them to continue our economic growth,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Partnership co-chairman. Critics argue that legalizing undocumented immigrants only would create new workers who would take American jobs, but the new report shows that the economic benefits of the DREAM Act would ripple throughout the economy and create new employment.

While the research about the economic benefits of the DREAM Act does not take into account any costs of implementing the law, the report’s authors say the future costs would be minimal. Previously, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the DREAM Act would increase federal revenues by $1.7 billion over the next 10 years and reduce federal deficits by $2.2 billion over that time. And the DREAM Act could also help fill the 16 million shortfall of college-educated workers that is expected to hit the U.S. by 2025, especially in science and engineering.

This blog originally appeared in Think Progress on October 1, 2012. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Amanda Peterson Beadle is an editorial assistant at ThinkProgress.org. She received her B.A. in journalism and Spanish from the University of Alabama, where she was editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper The Crimson White and graduated with honors. Before joining ThinkProgress, she worked as a legislative aide in the Maryland House of Delegates. In college, she interned at the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, the Press-Register (Mobile, Alabama), and the Ludington Daily News. She is from Birmingham, Alabama.

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One Response to “DREAM Act Could Add $329 Billion To U.S. Economy”

  1. Charles Read Says:


    Being trained in Economics and Accounting I can build a statistical model that would show that by immediately deporting those that would be effected by the “Dream Act” and their illegal alien parents would have a positive impact on the ecomony. Greater than 329 Billion.

    Citizens getting jobs, really paying taxes instead of scamming the system, less government cost on ICE enfoccement, higher exports of US products to those who want them but no longer live here, decreas pressure on the: welfare system, hospital emergency rooms, public schools, public services.

    Less unemployment, higher black and hispanic employment numbers.

    I can go on and on. My numbers will make as much sense as yours because my suppositions are as good (or better) than the people you quote who have their axe to grind.


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