The Economic Case for a Clear, Quick Pathway to Citizenship

From the Center for American Progress

A new report from the Center for American Progress uses data from Europe and North America to demostrate that a pathway to citizenship that is free of obstacles and undue delays helps immigrants integrate into the labor market and increase their earnings. These increased earnings and the corresponding added tax revenue would help grow the economy, which yields benefits for native-born citizens too.

An excerpt:

"The literature on new and old immigrant-destination countries shows that the clearer the pathway to citizenship, the greater the gains, and that the optimal waiting period for citizenship is roughly five years. Placing significant restrictions and lengthy delays on immigrants’ ability to become citizens diminishes the size of their ultimate economic premium for two reasons. The number of years that an immigrant can work for higher wages as a naturalized citizen declines, and immigrants have fewer incentives to invest in training and new skills as they age. Also, the best and the brightest immigrants may leave for their home countries or other, more welcoming countries."

Read the summary here:    (there's a link on the right side of the page if you want to download the full report.)