Citizen Gain: The Economic Benefits of Naturalization for Immigrants and the Economy
Future federal immigration legislation can and should ensure a roadmap to citizenship -- and encouraging naturalization of those already eligible will also return economic benefits to immigrants and the nation. Citizen Gain: The Economic Benefits of Naturalization for Immigrants and the Economy makes this case, finding that citizenship, even controlling for all other factors, can boost individual earnings by 8% to 11%. The authors also estimate that a modest increase in naturalization rates could lead to a potential $21 billion to $45 billion increase in cumulative earnings over 10 years that will have ripple effects on the national economy.
Given the mutual gains to immigrants and the nation, Citizen Gain identifies several barriers to citizenship and offers best practices to encourage naturalization. These include lowering fees for naturalization, supporting community and bank partnerships to offer microloans to ease the fee burden, developing philanthropic efforts that promote naturalization, encouraging businesses to offer workplace English language courses, persuading municipalities to promote citizenship through libraries and other civic institutions, and more.
Get more from the Center for Immigrant Integration at the University of Southern California.
Pastor, M. and Scoggins, J. (2012). Citizen Gain: The Economic Benefits of Naturalization for Immigrants and the Economy. Los Angeles: Center for Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California. Retrieved from https://dornsife.usc.edu/assets/sites/731/docs/citizen_gain_web.pdf