News Local/State

Changes In Immigration Policy Could Hurt Illinois

protesters by the White House

In this file photo, protesters hold signs near the White House during a protest about President Donald Trump's immigration policies in January. Alex Brandon/AP

Illinois’ population losses have become a source of concern among state policymakers. But a change in federal policy could make things much worse.

If you’re a politician or activist who thinks Illinois needs lower taxes or more favorable business laws, it’s likely you’ll talk about how people are fleeing.

The formulation makes it a problem to be solved by changes in state law.

But Sarah Crane, with Moody’s Analytics, says there could be decisions at the federal level that make trouble for Illinois.

"Any policies that severely curtail immigration will hurt the state's population growth even more than expected, in addition to labor force growth,” Crane said.

Last year, Census figures show Illinois ranked ninth among states as a destination for the greatest number of international immigrants.

Without those new residents from overseas, the state population would have dropped by an additional 31,000 people.

"Any reduction in trade or immigration will harm Illinois," Crane said. "The state is very reliant on immigration to even maintain its population."

Last year, a net of 83-thousand people left Illinois.