Ideas to Action:

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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Two Guest Worker Programs that Are Working

With funding for the federal government restored and the debt ceiling crisis averted (for now), President Obama has called on Congress to address three policy priorities in what remains of 2013. I'm thrilled to learn that immigration reform made the cut. I'm particularly interested in the Senate-passed proposal for temporary low-skill employment permits, the W-visa.

Do Immigrants Fill Public Coffers, or Drain Them? We Finally Have an Authoritative Estimate

People who move from poor countries to rich countries add colossal value to the world economy. They can do this, my research has shown, because their labor is often several times more valuable in the countries they move to. Workers who move, even in modest numbers, can create economic gains in the trillions of dollars, and most of that value accrues to the destination country.

The Magically Vanishing Slice of Pie: Shockingly Bad Methods behind the Heritage Foundation’s Estimates of the Fiscal Costs of Unauthorized Immigration

Robert Rector and Jason Richwine of the Heritage Foundation have written a report claiming that regularizing unauthorized immigrants in the United States will cost American taxpayers trillions of dollars. Neither Rector nor Richwine are trained economists and the methods that they use to arrive at this number are not economic analysis.

Borders and the Beltway: W-Visas a Win for the United States and Developing Countries

If you thought the immigration debates of the last few months were rough, hold on to your visas, because it’s about to get ugly. The Senate Gang of 8’s comprehensive immigration reform bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, has been released. And at the epicenter of these debates is the provision creating visas for what are often called “guest workers”—an issue close to CGD’s heart.

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