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The Monitor Breakfast

Immigration reform: a link between path to citizenship and better economy?

'Economic logic' indicates that a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants would be good for the US economy, Jason Furman, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, said at a recent Monitor Breakfast. 

By David T. CookStaff writer / February 7, 2014

Jason Furman, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, speaks Jan. 31 at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Michael Bonfigli / The Christian Science Monitor

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Jason Furman is chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. He was the guest at the Jan. 31 Monitor Breakfast.

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Economic outlook for US this year:

"[I]f the private sector can repeat what it did in 2013 ... we could have strong growth, potentially stronger growth in 2014."

The most pressing longer-term economic problem:

"The biggest [are] the challenges we face in terms of opportunity for American workers."

Response by some superwealthy Americans to discussion of income inequality:

"Some is just hyperventilation around not paying attention to specific facts ... the statutory [tax] rate ... is the same as [in] the '90s."

Whether immigration reform legislation should include a path to citizenship for undocumented workers:

"The more you bring people in from the shadows, the more you give them certainty, the better that is for the economy.... Everything I know from economic logic would tell me that you want a pathway to citizenship."

The outlook for Congress increasing the debt ceiling in February without drama:

"There is absolutely no reason Congress can't ... basically without ransom, without hostage-taking, send the president a debt-limit increase that he can sign so that we can pay the bills we've already incurred."

Whether the White House can get Congress to pass bills to fast-track trade deals:

"That ... will be an ongoing effort."

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