A Pathway to Citizenship: Doing Well by Doing Good

David Dyssegaard Kallick
Date of Publication: 
February, 2021
Source Organization: 
Fiscal Policy Institute

A streamlined pathway for undocumented immigrants to obtain work authorization and citizenship would be a key step towards ensuring that all people in the U.S. are included in economic and civic life, while also benefitting the economy as a whole. In “A Pathway to Citizenship: Doing Well by Doing Good,” the Fiscal Policy Institute updates an earlier 2017 report to quantify the impact of the provision of a pathway to work authorization and citizenship on state and local economies in New York. As the author explains, by obtaining work authorization or citizenship, immigrants would be more likely to earn higher incomes and be given a social security number, both of which would result in higher payroll and income tax payments. Based on these assertions, the study estimates that work authorization status would generate an additional $3,300 in yearly income per immigrant family in New York State, and $200 million in state and local tax revenue. These gains would increase with citizenship status, which would increase individual family incomes by about $6,500 and state and local tax revenue by $300 million per year. Beyond tax revenue, the ability to earn higher incomes would allow these families to more easily cover their expenses and contribute to their local economies. (Corey A. Calhoun for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute) 

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Kallick, D. (2021, February 1). A Pathway to Citizenship: Doing Well by Doing Good. Fiscal Policy Institute. https://fiscalpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Pathway-to-Citizenship-pdf.pdf