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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.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 10 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."