Immigration Policy

Solutions for Undocumented Immigrants

The United States needs a rigorous, fair process for undocumented immigrants to get right with the law. 

Hands raised with U.S. flags

Approximately 10.5 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States.  Deporting all undocumented immigrants would require identifying, apprehending, detaining, adjudicating, and transporting millions of people back to their home countries. It would take up to 20 years and cost somewhere in the range of $100 billion to $300 billion.   And, it would have a negative effect on the U.S. economy and our programs.

Undocumented immigrants are estimated to pay about $13 billion per year into Social Security and $3 billion into Medicare. Without them, the current labor force would shrink by around 6.4%, and the economy could lose $1.6 trillion in GDP over 20 years.

The United States needs an earned pathway to apply for citizenship for the undocumented.  It must be earned by paying a meaningful fine and any back taxes, learning English, passing a background check, and documenting the immigrant’s work history.  Immigrants who meet these conditions and demonstrate they have the character to make a good citizen, should earn the opportunity to get in line and apply for citizenship.

The undocumented immigrant population in the United States is a glaring sign of a broken immigration system.
Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative George W. Bush Institute
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