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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. 

Michael Bonfigli / The Christian Science Monitor
Jason Furman, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, speaks Jan. 31 at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C.

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

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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