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Immigrant amnesty


It is estimated there are about 10.7 million undocumented workers living here today – down from a high of 12.2 million in 2007. These people include nearly 25% of all workers in private households, at least 25% of all restaurant workers and more than 75% of all farmworkers. Studies have shown that undocumented immigrants contribute at least $150 billion to our economy each year. Undocumented workers also pay Social Security taxes but are not eligible to collect Social Security benefits. Most economists say immigrants, those here legally or not, benefit our overall economy and that granting undocumented immigrants legal status would be good for our economy. Amnesty supporters claim many undocumented immigrants are doing important jobs no one here wants to do. They say that undocumented workers do not compete with skilled laborers, but rather complement them. This is because economies work best when workers become specialized and divide up tasks among themselves, thus eliminating the need for skilled workers to spend time doing unskilled jobs. In states with many undocumented workers, studies show that from 1990 to 2007, undocumented workers increased legal worker’s pay in complementary jobs by up to 10%. However, studies also show that undocumented workers tend to lower the wages of unskilled American workers by about 5%.

A 2019 Gallup Poll found that 81% of all Americans favor allowing immigrants living illegally in the U.S. the chance to become citizens if they meet certain requirements over a period of time. Amnesty supporters claim legalizing undocumented workers will improve the working conditions of their occupations and will help them educate themselves, get better jobs and increase their contributions to society, benefitting us all. Opponents claim an amnesty program will encourage more illegal immigration and is unfair to those trying to legally immigrate.


Proposed Legislation: H.R.4847 - Worker Amnesty and Opportunity Act of 2006 (109th Congress 2005-2006)
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Adam Schiff (CA)












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Poll Opening Date
October 11, 2021
Poll Closing Date
October 17, 2021


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