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Immigration Reform Will Boost The Economy, More Than 100 Conservative Economists Say

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Hilda Canales, 40, joins hundreds of protestors in a May Day march through the streets of downtown Phoenix, Wednesday, May 1, 2013. Canales voted for President Barack Obama in the last election believing he would support immigration reform that would stop the deportation of her friends and family members under Arizona's immigration laws. (AP Photo/Valeria Fernandez) | AP

Immigration reform is good for the economy, says pretty much everyone.

More than 100 conservative economists signed a letter from the American Action Forum, a conservative think tank, arguing that immigration reform is good for the economy. The letter, which included signatures from former Bush adviser Glenn Hubbard and famed tax-hater Arthur Laffer, urges lawmakers to pass “a broad-based immigration reform bill.

A Senate panel approved the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform proposal earlier this week. The bill now has to go to the Senate floor.

“We believe a reformed and efficient immigration system can promote economic growth and ease the challenge of reforming unsustainable federal health and retirement programs,” the letter states.

The letter serves as another counterpoint to the argument coming from some immigration reform critics that the move would be bad for the economy because the new legal immigrants may require more government services.

An earlier study from the American Action Forum found that immigration reform would reduce the deficit by $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years. In addition, immigration reform would help sustain Social Security by providing more workers to contribute to its trust fund, according to a recent analysis from the Social Security Administration. What’s more, allowing more immigrants into the country legally would likely boost the wages of native-born workers.

Still, immigration reform may face an uphill battle from Congress, as many Republican lawmakers oppose providing a path to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants arguing that it would encourage more illegal immigration.

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