How Could Immigration Reform Impact Iowa’s Economy?

Nov 19, 2014

According to a report released earlier this year by Iowa Policy Project, immigrants make up about 4.5 percent of the state’s economic output.

I know a one-and-a-half-year-old . He thinks his father is a computer. His father was deported, and now the only way for him, as a legal U.S. citizen, to see his dad, is through the computer. - Sandra Sanchez

  If there were a path to citizenship, undocumented workers could contribute up to $64 million in Iowa taxes. During this River to River interview host Ben Kieffer talks with Sandra Sanchez, Immigrants Voice Program Director for the American Friends Service Committee, about some of the issues undocumented workers in Iowa face and the possible economic impact of immigration reform in Iowa.

Sanchez says she sees the effects of the currently system every day.

“I know a one-and-a-half-year-old . He thinks his father is a computer. His father was deported, and now the only way for him, as a legal U.S. citizen, to see his dad, is through the computer.”

John Stineman, Executive Director for the Iowa Chamber Alliance, also joins the conversation. He says business leaders in Iowa have been calling for reform to the nation’s immigration system for some time now and will be actively pursuing conversations with Iowa’s newly elected congressional delegation.

Loreto Prieto, Director of the Latino/Latina Studies Program at Iowa State University, and Heather Gibley, a Research Associate with the Iowa Public Project, also join the conversation.