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Immigrant Legalization: Assessing the Labor Market Effects

Summary

This report finds that a legalization program for unauthorized immigrants is unlikely to lead to dramatic changes in the labor market, for immigrant or native workers. It also finds little evidence to support expectations of significant effects on the broader economy, particularly in terms of tax revenues or public assistance programs. To assess labor market outcomes, the authors examined the work and migration histories of both unauthorized and continuously legal immigrants, comparing their experiences both before and after they became legal permanent residents.
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