New Study Finds That Trump's Immigration Crack Down Could Cost $5 Trillion In GDP Over 10 Years

Tyler Durden's picture

Earlier today we wrote about the impacts that Trump's immigration policies may have on the U.S. housing market (see "Could Trump's Immigration Ban Cause Another Housing Crash?"), but that's just the beginning of the story.  No matter where you come down on the immigration debate, like it or not, there are millions of low-skill jobs in this country, particularly in the Southwest, that our pampered, snowflake millennials wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole and are thus filled by "undocumented" workers primarily from Mexico and other portions of South America. 

Courtesy of a recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), we know that the industries that employ the highest percentage of migrant workers are, quite unsurprisingly, industries like Agriculture, Construction and Leisure and Hospitality, all of which require either back-breaking work in the blistering sun and/or low pay.  In fact, per the NBER study, nearly 20% of all agricultural labor in the United States is performed by illegal aliens while 13% of construction jobs are filled by that most entitled American youth are unlikely to fill at almost any price.

Labor Market


Meanwhile, as we pointed out last fall, the seasonality of agricultural jobs makes them even more unattractive to domestic laborers.  Per the chart below, the total number of people working in the ag industry in California spikes by about 33% starting in May every year and remains elevated for about 6 months through October.  Ask any farmer in California how tight the labor market is during those summer months and you'll quickly understand that, even with the 1,000's of illegal migrants working in the state, that farmers find it almost impossible to fully staff their operations during the peak harvesting seasons. 

California Farmworkers


And, of course, the majority of the illegal migrant workers in the U.S. come from Mexico and Central/South America.

Labor Market


Meanwhile, the NBER study estimates that every 1 million fewer workers in the U.S. equates to a roughly 0.5% drag on GDP.  Per Bloomberg:

President Donald Trump’s sweeping crackdown on undocumented immigrants will strain an already tight U.S. job market, with one study suggesting that removing all of them would cost the economy as much as $5 trillion over 10 years.


“The challenge is particularly high now because the labor market has tightened up not just overall but in areas in which you would think undocumented immigrants would be important, so that means that it’s going to be hard to fill these jobs if you deport these employees,” Harris said. “You have to think about indirect effects when you disrupt production in industries in which they’re a critical part of getting things done. So there’s a transition cost, as well as the cost of a reduced labor force.”


Harris estimates that for every 1 million fewer workers in the economy, GDP would be reduced by about 0.5 percent. That’s the equivalent of $94 billion, based on the annualized pace of $18.9 trillion in fourth-quarter GDP.

And here are the states that would be forced to absorb the greatest economic losses:

Labor Market


Perhaps it's time to start preparing young Tristan James Abernathy III for a life in the fields?  Good luck with that...


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chunga's picture

Ah. the new study finds that open, unlimited borders are the way to go.

greenskeeper carl's picture

New study shows that people will, in fact, do those jobs, and do them to the best extent of their abilities, once we stop paying them not to work.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

We don't care if it takes 10 quadrillion. There are some things more important than money.

Bumpo's picture

What about all those fucking robots.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Bumpo Feb 22, 2017 9:54 PM

They have robots that pick strawberries.

localsavage's picture

We have millions on welfare that can pick strawberries.  Just turn off their EBT cards and watch them get their shit together.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Most food is produced in Trumpland by White people anyway. Carbohydrates, protein, diary, and common fruits. You know, the stuff that keeps you alive. California grows leafy vegetables which we can all grow in our gardens anyway.

Son of Loki's picture

The "study" was funded by the Center for Democracy and Open Borders?


That's odd.


Reminds me of the tobacco company "research" claiming smoking was not harmful to yoru health, funded by RJ Reynolds.

tmosley's picture

New study shows that if you stop funding out studies, your penis will get smaller and people will start thinking you are gay.

The_Juggernaut's picture

What the hell is so hard to understand?  If US citizens won't do the work, then Mexicans can be issued work permits to come do the work and then GTFO.  If they don't GTFO as scheduled, they get thrown TFO and won't be invited back.  It's as simple as that and it's beyond me how that isn't as plain as day to everyone.

Jultorsk's picture

Precisely. It can also be a 1yr "working holiday visa" as in Oz (with a mandatory part of 6mo farm work), or a temporary work visa (say, up to tree years' stay, expires in 2 months if you're not employed). It's not that hard to figure out how this can be done so that a sufficient qty of immigrants are entering legally. I dare say it will be at least 75% improvement on safety/security and a boost to tax revenues and GDP as well.

MagicHandPuppet's picture

"But what about all da chil'rens and families dat gonna gets ripped apart?" /sarc

Notveryamused's picture

The study presumably assumes the majority of those jobs won't be filled by un/under-employed US citizens. However if you removed one person from welfare (which is a large annual cost) to fill such a job even if they were paid 20% more, I would think it would be a net benefit to the economy not a loss?

ReZn8r's picture

Have you ever tried to get a welfare nigga to work? Impossible dream.

Trump's declaration to ENFORCE our current immigration laws is barely 2 weeks old and this new study suddenly appears. I will bet my retirement that either this reports was done pre-President Trump or the data is FALSE.

Stop the illegal mexican invasion and deport the illegals aliens that are in the USA.

FIAT CON's picture

Your idea has some merit but i'm all in for getting the welfare slug out of the beer and into the field.

Everyone must contribute.


Déjà view's picture

Si Señor...just a cotton pickin' the past if Gringo did not work...Gringo did not eat...

Gringo should be picking motel work...etc...

Press UNO for Español...DOS for English

N2OJoe's picture

How much money did these hacks get from the government to fund their goalseeked study?


"Study: Continue with unlimited and unvetted illegal immigration or 10 more years of bad luck LOLOLOL!"

runswithscissors's picture

Its not "plain as day to everyone" because they are mostly brainwashed by commie liberal propaganda.

Cruel Aid's picture

No shit, who says the door is locked. just check in, dont be a criminal and you can get your card.

This hyperbole is just bs

wcole225's picture

What happens if I super fund the study?

Dane Bramage's picture

LOL, exactly.  " ...that our pampered, snowflake millennials wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole [AT CURRENT PRICING] and are thus filled by "undocumented" workers primarily from Mexico and other portions of South America. " 

Let the market adjust to both worker wage demands and corresponding product cost and I'd imagine you'd have a more motivated resident work force.  Oh, and repeal age-discrimination laws.  It's perfect sweaty work for a kid growing up, God forbid we allow "children" to achieve any value in society too early. :-/

Dancing Disraeli's picture

I pulled tobacco and threw bales of hay when I was a kid.  NBD.

TeamDepends's picture

At twelve years we pulled bales of hemp, tossed them in the Cessna, and flew them to Mena, AR where we were met by a topless Hillary. The scars that will never heal are the ones you can't forget.

ejmoosa's picture

I do not care what happens to GDP.  

But what you seem to be saying is that wages will be forced to rise, prices will rise, inflation will rise, and we will actually have a higher GDP but we will be having to give away less free shit.


I can live with that.

Sanity Bear's picture

> "jobs that most entitled American youth are unlikely to fill at almost any price."

The author is treading very close to "enemy of the American people" status with this kind of rhetoric - it's borderline genocidal.

Miskondukt's picture

Is it funded by the Center for Democracy & Open Borders? Where'd you connect that? The title page cites a Center for American Progress, not-so-coincidently founded by none other than . . . drum roll . . . John Podesta!

I also found pointedly interesting is this "study" appears to be unofficial: "NBER working papers are circulated for discussion and comment purposes. They have not been peer-reviewed [n]or been subject to the review by the NBER Board of Directors that accompanies official NBER publications."

We of course know the corporate media will tout it as offical and far too important to ignore; however, it's hard to ignore the inflationary impacts on the other hand. Then again, a third hand would wonder how well our country and her people could do without the MIC expenditure being what it is.

Let a B.I. & ZBB analyst get their hands on that data!

ATPCommish's picture

Exactly loki... This is bs!

"The cost to the American taxpayers of 11 million illegal aliens is estimated at $346 billion annually, according to the National Research Council."

Let's triple that figure at least..  as they've been claiming only 11 million illegal aliens are here since Clinton was president. The offset in medical and pre/post natal care is profound. GDP be damned!  This study is bullsh**.  

These workers used to be migrants who went back home after the growing season was done, we ought stop reinventing the wheel in this country. I say if you can't provide documentation we charge a 25% sales tax on everything including the long lines at the check cashers with every damn foreigner sending OUR GDP DIRECTLY TO ANOTHER COUNTRY!  

-commish has spoken, cthulhu's will be done! 

Cheka_Mate's picture

It's openly discussed in Jewish articles that their plan to crush the Anglo-Protestant core is through mass immigration.

Here's an example:

Why was a "bomb threat" to an ADL center headline news while in Sweden cars were burned and riots broke out as a real life hate crime towards Europeans?

No one is so blind as he who refuses to see 

J S Bach's picture

We need to stop placing a monetary "value" upon the necessary actions needed to save our country from the demographic catastrophe which looms.  1 dollar, 5 trillion dollars, 10 quadrillion dollars... none of this matters in the long run.  Money is merely a tool of trade.  It can be adapted, altered, replaced, etc...  But, a nation is blood.  When the blood of the founding stock is gone, it is gone forever and cannot be replaced.  The land mass that WAS the nation is then an entirely different entity... only as good as the population that inhabits it.  Do we really think that - 100 years hence - a "country" called the USA comprised of a majority mestizo population will carry on the hard-won traditions and disciplines necessary to maintain a First World stature?  Hardly.

Razor Burn'd Capitalist's picture

Thats so stupid...I'm not even sure how to approach it.


Here start with Dairy and get an education



Herodotus's picture

It would also create supervisory jobs for overseers.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

I have a suggestion: Anyone who publishes a study which is found to be FALSE with INTENT TO DECEIVE, person(s) responsible should be charged and arrested for attempting to undermine the power and authority of an established system or institution.of the US Government.



IndyPat's picture

Way to subjective to allow.

For any given law, ask yourself...if this law were stretched and used to its maximum limit, by a Soweeto type Admin, how would it shake down for the average stiff?

Your suggested law would have every Tyler plus every swinging dick commenter here sent to happy camp in hour 1 of the next Prog admin.

This is why the neocons and neolibs were fools to leave Patriot Act and NDAA laying around.
They never, ever counted on a true patriot ever getting their finger on those triggers. I wouldn't give a squirt of piss for them if President Trump decided to unload both barrels on them using them.

AtATrESICI's picture

Hey, that takes money from wealthy business interests...No fair...

Krungle's picture

We have arms contractors that can probably pick strawberries too if we stop starting trouble in every corner of the world....


SgtShaftoe's picture

Absolutely!!  instead of dealing death and facilitating the murder of children, they can serve humanity by feeding them.  I'll support that

NidStyles's picture

Just what we need, more Africans that can't feed themselves already reproducing...

WeTheSheeplez's picture

The very first lesson I learned as a young man...
Hunger is the greatest motivator their is... to get you off your ass and working...
But then I wasn't a lowlife begging piece of shit, like we have today...
Remember...there is always FREE CHEESE in a mouse trap...

caconhma's picture

Hunger is enormously powerful motivator for people to get a job, any job.


In America, there are 90,000,000+ PEOPLE LIVING ON GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND DOING NOTHING. It is about time putting them to work.

Hal n back's picture

the issue is the robots are faster, better and cheaper. They can work 24/7 so picking can be completed in prime time when the produce is ready and then in a few years automatically cleaned and put on driverless trucks to go to terminals to be packaged automaticaly and put on different driverless trucks  to be taken to different states to be locally distributed.


most of us wil have a lot of free time in the future-with little discretionary money.


AI will even kill the jobs of thinkers who plan out the automation equipment.

Automated socialism wil deliver to your house what you should  be eating and how much. Your TV wil be programmed for you to watch shows that "you will want to watch". 


actually it is kind of frightening.

All the complaints we have wil disappear.


I read the Fed minutes and it was kind of funny to see they think unemployment wil continue to go down over the next several years-no mention of all the automation hitting--how will BLS create jobs when things are being automated away.

I only was confused of how the Fed referred to 3 types of inflation in the same paragraph and proceeded to use the lowest inflation -PCE--to me that means they do not want to raise rates.


just a thought and the answer is in a few years it will not matter. It will be what it will be.

Amicus Curiae's picture

when they  can stop it picking green ones? too much waste

and the stems cut too long

bloody sloooow and so was the packing

theory is one thing

reality is that humans do it better

and how much is the machine?

how much to service it?


Nexus789's picture

Being developed right now. Also robots to pick other types of fruit. 

NumberNone's picture

And who says we can't alter our immigration policies in the future in a controlled fashion to address hiring needs?

Curiously_Crazy's picture

And what ever happened to finding a supply/demand equilibrium on wages?

OF COURSE people coming from a country whos wages are a quarter that of your own will work for peanuts. This isn't just happening in Ag but Tech as well.

If illegal immigrants are so great well hell then, why not fly people in from Cambodia or Vietnam where wages are lower still?

QuantumEasing's picture

Of course, what the study conveniently leaves out is that 10 trillion will be saved through eliminations of parasitic drag.

IndyPat's picture

It also leaves out the tidal wave of dollars that are earned here, untaxed...then sent down to the extended beaner broods in lovely meh hee co.
That's all cheese that doesn't get spent here. The only cheese they spend here is the cheese we give them. Neato, huh?
An instant 50% tax on ALL cash transfers to meh hee co would throw the brakes on a shit ton of border busting.
Actually, 50% sounds kinda low. That's too close to my liability as a native born puke.

75% sounds muy bueno!

Any cash found in south of the border bound that at 100% + a fine for trying to be a sneaky beaner fuck. If you think it can't be easily found in that mail, you're wrong. Give the mail employee or customs employee half the cut on the spot.

Zorba's idea's picture

because most southeast asians once acclimated vote conservative not democRAT.  the've had enough with people promising shit they never deliver and they dony like freeloaders

Augustus's picture

Old story:


Two fellows hunting.  One rich guy and one from the country.  Both brought their dogs.

Country fellow's dog doing all the work flushing the birds and retreiving the kills.

Rich guy asks "What do you feed that dog of yours?"

Feed him Ol Roy is the answer.

Rich guy" My dog won't eat that stuff."

Country fellow:  "Mine wouldn't either for the first two weeks."