Fast Facts: Removing All Undocumented New Jerseyans Would Harm the State’s Economy


The Garden State would lose the largest share of GDP in the nation without its undocumented workforce

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New Jersey’s economy would suffer a substantial blow if all of the United States’ 11.3 million undocumented immigrants – more than 7 million of whom are working – were removed from the country.

gdp-loss-undocumented-01

In fact, the loss to New Jersey’s Gross Domestic Product of 4.9 percent is the largest loss of any of the 50 states, topping immigrant-heavy states like California (4.7 percent loss), Texas (3.9 percent loss) and New York (3 percent loss), according to a new 50-state analysis by the Center for American Progress.[1]

The forced removal of these striving immigrants would cause New Jersey to lose $25.9 billion in annual economic activity. While this is not the largest dollar loss of any state (California tops the list at $103 billion), it is the largest when taken in context of the size of a state’s economy.

New Jersey’s workforce has the third-highest share of undocumented workers in the nation, at 7.4 percent – behind California (10.2 percent) and Texas (8.7 percent). But the loss of these workers’ contributions would be more keenly felt by New Jersey’s economy, in large part because there undocumented workers’ contributions to the economy are more diverse and felt in many higher-paid industries.

sector-gdp-loss-01For instance, New Jersey’s financial industry would lose an estimated 5.3 percent of its annual economic activity without undocumented workers – a far higher share than all other states (the next closest states are Connecticut with a 2.6 percent loss and New York with 2.3 percent).

That said, the loss to New Jersey’s economy from the removal of the undocumented workforce would be felt across industries.

These grim prospects serve as an important reminder of the unmistakable value that immigrants – both undocumented and documented – bring to New Jersey and to the state’s economy.

Without the economic contributions of immigrants, the Garden State would be far worse off – which is all the more reason for the state to pursue commonsense policies that embrace and welcome our immigrant neighbors, rather than force them to live in the shadows. Allowing undocumented New Jerseyans to legally drive, for example, would be a vital step towards building an inclusive state while improving public safety and boosting the economy.[2]


Endnotes

[1] Center for American Progress, The Economic Impacts of Removing Unauthorized Immigrant Workers, September 2016.

[2] For more on this issue, see: New Jersey Policy Perspective, Share the Road: Allowing Eligible Undocumented Residents Access to Driver’s Licenses Makes Sense for New Jersey, September 2014.

One Comment

  1. Impressed by the biased, unbalanced content of this article. Your sources completely dwell in the far left, pro illegal open borders end of the spectrum. In realty, the cost burden to NJ taxpayers is roughly $2.1 billion per year. With a 6.5% unemployment rate and an even higher underemployment rate, removing illegal immigrants would put legal NJ residents to work, increase tax revenues from an increased workforce and decrease uncompensated utilization of medical resources, educational resources and a myriad of other taxpayer funded services.

    http://www.fairus.org/site/DocServer/New_Jersey_Cost_Study.pdf

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