Thirty-nine economists from Georgia colleges and universities have signed a letter calling on President Trump and Congressional leaders to avoid changes that would undercut the economic value of immigration.
The economists joined 1,431 others from around the country in a petition organized by New American Economy, a bi-partisan group of mayors and business leaders who say they support immigration reform that will boost the U.S. economy and create jobs here.
“We urge Congress to modernize our immigration system in a way that maximizes the opportunity immigration can bring, and reaffirms continuing the rich history of welcoming immigrants to the United States,” the letter said.
The economists who signed the letter include Republicans and Democrats, some favoring free markets, others supporting a larger role for government in the economy, the letter says. “But on some issues there is near universal agreement. One such issue concerns the broad economic benefit that immigrants to this country bring.”
Among the advantages of immigration, the letter cited:
-- the tendency of immigrants to start new businesses, which then hire Americans.
-- a higher share of working age people among immigrants, off-setting the accelerating retirement of boomers.
-- a high share of immigrants who work in “innovative, job-creating fields such as science, technology, engineering, and math that create life-improving products.”
Atlanta stands to gain from any well-crafted reform of immigration, the group maintains.
Immigrants account for about 9.4 percent of metro Atlanta’s 5.8 million person population, according to New American Economy. Those people pay about $426 million a year in taxes and spend about $1.3 billion a year, the group said.
The Georgia economists signing the letter to Trump and Congress:
- Madeline Zavodny, Agnes Scott College
- Richard McGrath, Armstrong State
- Frank Stephenson, Berry College
- Lauren Heller, Berry College
- Wilson Mixon, Berry College
- Suzanne Erickson, Brenau University
- Christopher Curran, Emory University
- Samiran Banerjee, Emory,
- Sue Mialon, Emory
- Tarun Chordia, Emory
- Richard F. Muth, Emory
- Jasminka Ninkovic, Emory, Oxford
- John R. Swinton, Georgia College
- Alex Hsu, Georgia Tech
- Erik Johnson, Georgia Tech
- Tibor Besedes, Georgia Tech
- Gregory Brock, Georgia Southern University
- John Howard Brown, Georgia Southern
- Barry Hirsch, Georgia State University
- Bruce A. Seaman, Georgia State
- David L. Sjoquist, Georgia State
- Garth Heutel, Georgia State
- George Zanjani, Georgia State
- Mark Flowers, Georgia State
- Paula Stephan, Georgia State
- Richard Phillips, Georgia State
- L. G. Thomas, III, Emory
- Gabriel Ramirez, Kennesaw State University
- Lucy Ackert, Kennesaw State
- Rongbing Huang, Kennesaw State
- Timothy Mathews, Kennesaw State
- Xuepeng Liu, Kennesaw State
- Vijaya Subrahmanyam, Mercer University
- Peter J. Kower, Oglethorpe University
- Esendugue Greg Fonsah, University of Georgia
- Santanu Chatterjee, University of Georgia
- William D. Lastrapes, University of Georgia
- Bill Beranek, University of Georgia
- Jack E. Houston Jr., University of Georgia