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Axios screenshot

Granting immigrants a pathway to citizenship will lead to an "economic boost" for the U.S., Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) said in an Axios virtual event on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Democrats hope to get 10 Republican senators to back legislation that recently passed the House that would provide a path to citizenship. Touting the economic benefits of immigration reform could boost their argument.

  • "Immigration fuels the economy. When immigrants enter the labor force, they increase the productive capacity of the economy and raise GDP. Their incomes rise, but so do those of natives. It’s a phenomenon dubbed the 'immigration surplus,'" the George W. Bush Institute writes.

What he's saying: "I think it is a moral and just as imperative for immigrants that have been here, particularly the undocumented that have been here, working here, paying taxes here, they deserve security and a pathway to citizenship," Padilla said.

  • "When immigrants, naturalized, become citizens, it leads to an economic boost for them and their families and for our nation as a whole," he added.
  • Padilla said that "more than five million essential workers in health care and construction and transportation and agriculture and food processing and more are not just immigrants, but undocumented immigrants."

The other side: Former President Trump said in 2016, while accepting the Republican presidential nomination, that "decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers."

  • Consider this: A study by the Department of Labor done by the Bush administration clarified that the myth around immigrants taking jobs away from Americans is "the most persistent fallacy about immigration in popular thought," per the ACLU.

Worth noting: Padilla in February introduced a legislation that would give undocumented immigrants who are essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic a pathway to citizenship.

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper

Aug 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Inside Democrats' $3.5 trillion box

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Senate's bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal won't actually pass until Tuesday, but Democrats aren't waiting. They launched a $3.5 trillion budget resolution on Monday to allow them to pursue a unilateral package with a much looser definition of "infrastructure."

Why it matters: Democratic leaders' plan is nearly begging for a challenge, not just from Republicans, but potentially from some fellow Democrats as well as the Senate parliamentarian.

New York AG alleges "significant evidence" of Trump Organization fraud

Combination images of former President Trump and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York's attorney general filed a motion Tuesday seeking to compel former President Trump and two of his children, Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump, to appear for sworn testimony in her office's civil investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

Why it matters: Attorney General Letitia James revealed new details in the court filing and a statement on her office's investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices, including a preliminary finding alleging the company used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."

2 hours ago - Technology

Ex-N.Y. Post digital chief files lawsuit alleging sexual harassment

Richard B. Levine) (Photo by Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Former New York Post editor Michelle Gotthelf is suing her former employer, its parent company News Corp. and two editors, alleging she was reprimanded after complaining to senior executives that she was sexually harassed by retired N.Y. Post editor-in-chief Col Allan. The N.Y. Post issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: "I felt that I owed it to myself and I owed it to the news organization and the people who answered to me," Gotthelf, who was a long time editor at the N.Y. Post, told Axios in an interview.