Study shows immigrants provide economic boost

Study shows immigrants provide economic boost

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Immigrants are giving the U.S. economy a boost. Advocates say the study shows the need for immigration reform.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A new study reveals the financial gain immigrants provide for the U.S. economy.
The report was developed by a professor at Duke University.

He found that the 40 million immigrants in the U.S. have created or saved 1.8 million jobs. Home values have also soared because of these same immigrants. His study concluded that home equity increased by $3.7 trillion

This latest report comes at a time when the housing industry is on the upswing. But Utah business leaders say there are not enough workers to keep up with demand.

“We have millions of people in the United States that cannot legally work,” says Dave Hardman with the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce.

Especially in jobs that require a skill like housing construction. And Hardman says technical work is also being affected. He says Hill Air Force Base can’t fill 150 engineering jobs because of a lack of a labor force.

"It's putting businesses at a disadvantage,” he says. “They have fear of hiring individuals that may not have the proper documentation."

As a result, Hardman says the booming housing industry can't grow as fast it could.

“It's restricting growth and development because of having positions that are not filled,” he says.

Latino community leaders say the study is another reason Congress needs to act on immigration reform.

“This one clearly indicates the importance, the need for immigration reform,” says Tony Yapias with Proyecto Latino.

Business and Latino leaders stand together on the need for immigration reform. The measure is having a tough time in the House of Representatives.

Business leaders say keeping the status quo will be costly.

“These are the kinds of issues that stifle growth, stifle opportunity,” says Hardman.

To see the full report follow the link:
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