Monday, November 5, 2012

Immigration Reform is a Non-Partisan Issue (or at least it should be)

I was absolutely thrilled to read an article authored by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick, Hoover Institution Research Fellow, which appeared in the November 4, 2012 issue of Parade Magazine. This thoughtful piece outlined the author’s position on immigration reform.
Bush and Bolick recognized that the best way to save safety-net programs and escape our country’s current debt  burden would be to have a “pipeline” of hard working, talented immigrants.  They acknowledged that our country needs more scientists and engineers than our schools are currently producing and these positions can be filled with new immigrants. Furthermore, immigrants start businesses at a much higher rate than native-born Americans.
They stated that in order to encourage the immigration needed to fuel our economic growth, we need to issue more skilled worker visas than the 65,000 issued annually.  After all, if companies cannot meet their labor needs here, they may open factories and offices overseas.
Most surprising was Bush and Bolick’s suggestion for dealing with “illegal immigrants”. They proposed that illegal immigrants who have not committed a crime in the U.S. should be granted a green card upon payment of a fine. Their children should have a path to citizenship.  Furthermore, they recognize that the entire immigration system is cumbersome and contradictory and the laws need to be rewritten.  Considering the fact that these same positions have been declared by Democratic leaders, there is no reason why this reform should not become reality.
As an immigration practitioner, I agree completely. By punishing illegal immigrants who have not violated our laws, we are depriving our country of much needed talent. The immigrants I have met are exceptionally motivated to work hard and provide a better life for their children. These are exactly the type of people who will kick start our economic growth.  Easing immigration restrictions would not only be compassionate and just for those who dream of immigrating, but just as importantly, it will help our country grow.
The time for immigration reform is now.

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1 comment:

  1. After a number of states had begun to enact their own immigration laws, the federal government recognized the need for a uniform set of immigration rules applied across the country. The adoption of this federal responsibility was followed by an immigration law passed by U.S. Congress in 1882 that gave the office of the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to monitor immigration and naturalization.