Some people may be attempting to lead you to believe that the forceful deportation of the over 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States would be a key ingredient to Making America Great Again, preferably if there were some big, beautiful wall involved to ensure that they never came back.
But economists, those practitioners of the dismal science, have produced numbers that would make the holders of anti-immigration sentiment turn orange with embarrassment. According to a new report from the admittedly left-leaning think tank the Center for American Progress, expelling the nation’s undocumented workers would lead to a 1.4 percent drop in GDP a year. There’s even a fancy infographic to go along with the report, showing which states would get hit worst.
That loss is predicted to snowball to 2.6 percent a year, Tanvi Misra reports for CityLab, good for a cool $434 billion annually. A decade after the deportations, it would be a loss adding up to $4.7 trillion. That’s trillion, with a t.
The fields that would get hit the worst would be agriculture, hospitality, and construction, all of which rely heavily on migrant labor and would consequently see their total workforces shrink by 10 to 18 percent, hamstringing each industry. These losses don’t even include the money that undocumented immigrants spend, contributing to the economy in the other direction. In a dispassionate dollars-and-cents sense, acting on the xenophobia that’s so signature to Donald Trump’s campaign would do the opposite of one of his main promises: making America so, so rich.