Immigration reform would boost value of homes, Obama tells Phoenix crowd

President Obama on Tuesday argued that enactment of the Senate’s immigration reform bill would boost home values across the country.

"It’s pretty simple: when more people buy homes, and play by the rules, home values go up for everybody," Obama said during a speech on home ownership in Phoenix.

Obama conceded that immigration was "something you don’t always hear about when it comes to the housing market,” but he said the two things go hand in hand.

"According to one recent study, the average homeowner has already seen the value of their home boosted by thousands of dollars, just because of immigration," the president said.

Cecilia Munoz, the director of the White House Domestic Policy council, tweeted during Obama's speech that it was a "fact" that immigration reform "will substantially increase home values."

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According to data provided by the White House, immigrants accounted for almost 40 percent of new homeowners between 2000 and 2010. In California, immigrants accounted for more than 80 percent of the growth in homeowners, while in New York, more than two-thirds of new buyers were immigrants.

In Southern states like Georgia and North Carolina, immigrants made up more than a quarter of new homeowners, according to the White House.

Obama accused House Republicans of "dragging their feet" on immigration reform after the Senate passed a sweeping overhaul in June.

"Considering what this bill can do for homeowners, that’s just one more reason Republicans in the House should stop dragging their feet and get this done," Obama said.

The president has made a point of touting immigration reform in each of his recent economic addresses, as part of an overall push to build momentum ahead of battles this fall.

At a tour of an Amazon.com warehouse in Chattanooga, Tenn., last week, the president argued in favor of "fixing a broken immigration system with reform that independent economists say will boost our economy by more than trillion dollars.”

And while visiting a port in Jacksonville the week prior, Obama bemoaned that House Republicans refused to give the Senate immigration bill a vote.

"Over the last six months, the gridlock has gotten worse," Obama said.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said last week that the president would feature immigration reform prominently in his August speeches about the economy.

“[I] would anticipate that you'll hear him talking about the importance of finally making some progress on comprehensive immigration reform" Earnest said.

— This story was updated at 4:16 p.m.

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