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August 2, 2013

Report finds immigration reform will bring jobs, growth to Wash.

By: Jason Hagey   Comments: 4
Washington state stands to benefit in a big way from comprehensive immigration reform, according to a new report released today by the Washington Compact.

Over the next decade, Washington's Gross State Product will expand by $21.3 billion, cumulative earnings for all residents will rise by $12.5 billion and 3,000 new jobs will be created each year, according to the report titled Immigration Reform: Towards a Stronger Washington.

Nationally, passage of immigration reform will boost GDP by $832 billion over the same period, produce an annual gain of 121,000 jobs and $109 billion in additional tax revenue, the report found.

The reason? Immigration reform will trigger an influx of immigrant workers both in high-skilled and agricultural jobs that will allow companies to fill jobs that are currently going unfilled. As a result, employers will expand their U.S. operations, rather than stagnate or look to move to other countries.

An article published in AWB's spring issue of Washington Business magazine demonstrated how the issue is affecting both agriculture and high-tech employers in the state.

Roger Bairstow of Broetje Orchards said his company finished last year's harvest with about 200 fewer workers than it needed. 

And John Drescher of the group TechNet called the race for talent among high-tech companies "without a doubt, the single biggest issue" facing his group's members.

The Washington Compact is a diverse coalition of business, faith and law enforcement groups, including AWB, that have come together in support of federal immigration reform.

AWB President Don Brunell signed onto the compact in March during a press conference in Yakima.

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