The White House released a report on Monday that outlined the economic benefits of immigration reform as well as the possible dangers involved should the immigration reform bill not pass.
The report’s release was viewed by many as a push by President Obama to move the Republican-contested bill forward in the House. The report focused the immigration reform debate on the economic benefits its passage could provide. The White House argued that both farm and agriculture exports could expand in earnings if given more access to workers.
“The agriculture industry is hampered by a broken immigration system that fails to support a predictable and stable workforce,” said a White House press release regarding the report. “Without providing a path to earned citizenship for unauthorized farmworkers and a new temporary program that agriculture employers would use, a significant portion of this farm workforce will remain unauthorized, thereby susceptible to immigration enforcement actions that could tighten the supply of farm labor.”
“Coupled with a decline in native-born rural populations, the strength and continuity of rural America is contingent on common sense immigration reform that improves job opportunity, provides local governments with the tools they need to succeed and increases economic growth,” the release continued.
The report estimated that immigration reform legislation could “raise GDP by approximately $2 billion in 204 and $9.79 billion in 2045. And it would increase total employment by nearly 17,000 jobs in 2014 and nearly 40,000 jobs in 2045.”
House Speaker John Boehner has maintained that he would not push the bill forward without majority support from the Republican House. The comprehensive bill would include measures to offer paths of citizenship to undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the United States.