Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative

Publication Date

5-2016

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Volume

4

Number

5

Document Type

Brief

Summary

Advocates of restrictive immigration policies often claim that immigrants impose a net burden on the public treasury. The most comprehensive and authoritative study of the fiscal effects of immigration in the U.S. finds, however, that there is a net positive effect. If policymakers are concerned that less skilled immigrants may pose some risk of a fiscal burden, then restricting immigrant access to means-tested public benefits would be a better response than denying them admission. A path to citizenship for these immigrants need not entail a fiscal burden as long as their access to these public benefits and citizenship is sufficiently delayed.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Keywords

immigration, public treasury, fiscal effects, citizenship, benefits

Walls or Welcome Mats? Immigration and the Public Treasury

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