Struggling local economies need undocumented immigrants to grow the workforce and create more jobs, the White House said Monday in its latest pitch to sell the nation on President Barack Obama's plan to delay deportations for millions of people living in the U.S. without legal status. "These actions not only live up to our heritage as a nation but are essential to building on our hopes for a brighter future," White House officials said in a statement. "In fact, the president's steps will allow people to contribute more fully to their communities and spark an economic boost for every single state."
The Obama administration's push for immigration reform included a map that allows Americans to look up how their state will benefit from the White House's plan. California, for example, would allegedly see an $11.7 billion increase in its gross domestic product over the next decade and an increase of $170 a year in the average wage for all U.S.-born workers. New York could boost its GDP by $7 billion during the same time under Obama's immigration proposal, according to the White House. The map can be seen here.
Obama announced in November that he would sidestep a divided Congress and use his executive authority to help immigrants obtain work permits and avoid deportation. The effort is aimed at illegal immigrants with children who are U.S. citizens. The president's Council of Economic Advisers has said the plan would grow the U.S. economy by $90 billion to $210 billion by 2025.
Critics counter that Obama's overhaul would hurt foreign-born workers, increase taxes as immigrants sign up for public benefits and encourage illegal immigration. On Monday, two more states joined a legal battle against the Obama administration's executive action on immigration, meaning 26 states are now fighting the order in a federal court in Texas, according to the Associated Press. The lawsuit led by Texas accuses the White House of "trampling" the Constitution.