VIII. The Economic Effects of Deportation versus Citizenship Print E-mail


A Huge Difference in the Effect on GDP



In addition to big increases in government spending, deportation leads to a decline in business activity and in tax revenue. For the nation as a whole, lower business activity leads to a steep decline in the gross domestic product (GDP) and an increase in the federal debt. A 2016 Center for American Progress study1 found that removing 7 million unauthorized workers nationally, about five percent of the U.S. workforce, would result in an average yearly loss of $434.4 billion. Over a decade, this would amount to a loss of $4.7 trillion in gross domestic product and a loss of $900 billion in federal government revenues. This study concluded that GDP would immediately drop 1.6% and would eventually drop 2.6%. The federal deficit would increase close to a trillion dollars by 2026.



gdp annual nationwide loss due to deportation



douglas holtz-eakin 22013 research by Douglas Holtz-Eakin,2 formerly Congressional Budget Office Director under President H. W. Bush and currently President of the conservative American Action Forum, concluded that allowing unauthorized immigrants to become permanent residents has, in contrast, a much better outcome for the U.S. economy. It would raise the pace of U.S. economic growth by nearly a percentage point over the near term and by 3 to 3.9% over ten years. Holtz-Eakin estimated that allowing unauthorized immigrants to become permanent residents would reduce the deficit by $2.7 trillion by giving unauthorized immigrants the opportunity to participate more productively in the labor market.



david cay johnston 2

Pulitzer Prize winner David Cay Johnston, who reported for the New York Times for many years on tax policy, wrote about a July 7th memo from Mick Mulvaney,3 Director of the White House 0ffice of Management and Budget.  Mulvaney indicated that the budget will make big increases in military spending and immigration policing, but will reduce the federal civilian workforce. Johnston noted that Mulvaney's memo asserts that spending much more on the military and on Homeland Security, whose main task is to deport as many noncitizens as possible, will increase economic growth.  Johnston commented:


"As someone who has studied and written about economics for a half century, I cannot recall ever reading an economics text linking more spending on war-fighting capacity and immigration policing with faster economic growth. Instead, defense and policing costs are usually described as necessary, but unproductive, a drag on an economy."







1.  Edwards, Ryan and Ortega, Francesc.  “The Economic Impacts of Removing Unauthorized Immigrant Workers:  An Industry- and State-Level Analysis.”  Center for American Progress, September 21, 2016.


2. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas.  “Immigration Reform, Economic Growth, and the Fiscal Challenge.”  American Action Forum, April, 2013.


3.  Johnston, David Cay.  “Trump’s Budget Shows How He Is Building a Police State.”  Alternet, July 19, 2017




An Example: The Effect of Deportation on


Business Activity and Tax Revenue in Brooklyn Park




bruce p. corrie

How might widespread deportation of unauthorized immigrants affect business activity and tax revenue in Brooklyn Park?


Dr. Bruce P. Corrie's study of the political power of Asian, African, and Latino immigrants1 shows that immigrants in Senate District 40, which covers most of Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, has the 4th largest income for immigrants, $867 million for 2012 to 2014. Many Latino immigrants are unauthorized and many Liberian immigrants have Deferred Enforced Departure visas that might not be extended by President Trump when they expire in March 2018.  Thus, Brooklyn Park is a community that could experience severe economic disruption due to deportation of immigrants by ICE. This would include a substantial decline in employees in our area, including many in professions requiring an advanced education; a decline in retail businesses' income as the number of families living in poverty grows; and a decline in property, income, and business tax revenue.






1.  Bruce P. Corrie, PhD.  “ALANA Political Power:  Strong Growth in House and Senate Districts 2012-2014:  $30 Billion ALANA Economy Calls for Greater Political Representation!”  Chai.News,, February 26, 2016.







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With Secretary of State Steve Simon


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Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

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How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016


In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

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