President Barack Obama lauded the economic benefits of immigration reform yesterday, particularly when it comes to house prices, which have been significantly increasing after the economic crisis back in 2008, according to the White House. The Democrat leader spent the day in the US Southwest in Arizona for a day of activities related to housing, half a decade after the worst economic downturn America has seen since the Great Depression was kicked off after the subprime mortgage crisis.
Together with Nevada and California, Arizona was among the places worst affected by the fall in house values, which after years of boom fell by over 60% in some areas. Although prices are now on the rise again, they have not yet recovered to the highs seen before 2008. The state also lies on the border between the United States and Mexico, making immigration one of the biggest issues there.
Ahead of the President’s trip, the White House issued a statement arguing that immigration reform – which has stalled in Congress despite being championed by the President – would result in a substantial increase in the price of houses. “Between 2000 and 2010, immigrants accounted for almost 40 percent of new homeowners nationwide,” the statement added, pointing out that eight out of ten new California homeowners were immigrants.
Obama is getting set to reveal a battery of proposals and reforms to try and boost the housing sector while visiting Arizona, including better access to credit, an investment program in low value homes and aid for troubled borrowers.