National Academies Report Underscores Immense Economic Importance of Immigrants to America

George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomed a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) detailing the Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration.

AILA President William A. Stock noted, “This report confirms more than 50 years of research, and what most Americans have always known, that those who uproot their lives to come to America do so to work hard. They share our ideals and values and contribute to our communities, society, and economy, and their children make even bigger economic contributions. Our challenge is to build a 21st century immigration system that will do an even better job of harnessing the power and potential of immigration to improve everyone’s lives. With policy changes that have the support of an overwhelming majority of Americans, our elected leaders can achieve this goal.”

Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director, said, “This report is the result of years of research into the impact immigrants have on our country and the analysis shows what immigration attorneys and advocates have seen firsthand for years: immigrants are integral to our society’s very fabric and by investing in immigrants and their children, all of America reaps immense dividends in economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The study found that immigrant workers expand the size of the U.S. economy by an estimated 11 percent each year - translating to $2 trillion in 2016 alone. In fact, the children of immigrants are the largest net fiscal contributors among any group, native or foreign-born, creating significant economic benefits for every American. The biggest cost that the study identifies, particularly on the state and local level, is the cost of education. But it costs money to educate any child and we all benefit when those children grow up and use that education in the workforce.”


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 16092202.