With the 2016 election winding up, voters will be bombarded with solutions from presidential candidates on how to fix the broken U.S. policy on immigration. Conservative candidates have been proposing tough solutions to reduce the number of undocumented workers through deportation. Sometimes, that number means even to zero.
However, what often gets lost in the political debate is the question of: what would these solutions all cost?
An estimate says that removing the entire population of undocumented workers in the U.S. would “wipe out a chunk of the American economy roughly the size of the annual gross domestic product of Texas.” That’s a bold statement to sit with.
Of the 41 million foreign-born people living in the United States in 2012, about 22 million were noncitizens, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis of Census data. That noncitizen category includes lawful permanent residents (who are legally allowed to live and work here); temporary residents and visitors; and unauthorized residents. That last category includes some 11 million to 12 million people, a number that has stayed fairly constant, the CBO researchers said.