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Legalizing Undocumented Immigrants

An Essential Tool in Fighting Poverty

By Josh Bernstein & Jonathan Blazer

Some twelve million undocumented immigrants live in the United States, many of them well integrated into the U.S. economy. Research and experience teach that legalizing undocumented immigrants would exponentially reduce poverty in immigrant communities. But legalization would also benefit low-income nonimmigrant communities and workers. Absent legalization, the issue of “illegal immigration” so easily lends itself to wedge politics and impedes antipoverty efforts.

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