Contact: Louisa Tavlas


WASHINGTON, D.C., December 5, 2022 — The Niskanen Center is proud to endorse the historic immigration framework negotiated by Senators Tillis and Sinema, representing a meaningful step toward improving our immigration system. 

“This balanced framework strengthens border security, offers 2.3 million Dreamers citizenship, and modernizes the immigration system to address our current challenges,” said Kristie De Peña, vice president of policy and director of the Niskanen Center’s immigration department. “We call on lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to support this framework, signaling their continued commitment to strengthening our nation’s safety, security, and prosperity,” she added. 

The Niskanen Center estimates that the 2.3 million* potential beneficiaries will contribute $1.2 trillion to GDP over ten years and $235 billion in net fiscal contributions.**

The Niskanen Center is a 501(c)(3) advocacy organization established in 2014 to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.


* Estimates of the share of eligible immigrants in the workforce comes from an analysis of 2016-2020 ACS microdata available from IPUMS. Methodology based on Smith and Neufeld, 2017. The GDP contribution uses the average wage of DACA recipients from 2021 survey data for working immigrants. The capital share of income is derived using a labor share of 0.6 from CBO projections. The growth rate is assumed to be 1.8% per year, the average growth rate projected by the CBO from 2023-2032. The likely GDP effect is estimated by assuming that legal status has an effect on the employment of the eligible population. The magnitude of that effect is taken from Nolan G. Pope’s “The Effects of DACAmentation: The Impact of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on Unauthorized Immigrants.” The net fiscal contribution applies the average fiscal impact of an immigrant who arrives before the age of 24 and obtains a high school diploma, as found in the National Academies report on “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration.”

** Data explanations: The GDP contribution represents the 10-year cumulative contribution to U.S. GDP of undocumented immigrants who receive status under proposed legislation, depending on the population size. However, in the absence of legislation, many of these immigrants would nevertheless stay and work in the United States unlawfully. The net fiscal contribution represents the aggregate population’s 75-year present value flows for consolidated federal, state, and local governments under CBO long-term budget outlooks.