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Legal Pathways: A Humane and Effective Option

January 09, 2024 (1 min read)

NFAP, Jan. 9, 2024

"Expanding legal pathways reduces illegal entry more effectively than traditional enforcement-only approaches. Border Patrol data show work visas and the Biden administration’s humanitarian parole programs have been far more effective against illegal immigration than the Trump administration’s enforcement-only policies, according to a National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) analysis. The evidence indicates reducing or eliminating humanitarian parole programs, as GOP lawmakers have proposed, would increase illegal entry and remove what is currently the executive branch’s most effective tool to encourage lawful migration. Using legal pathways prevents migrants from dying on unsafe journeys to the border and keeps cities from being burdened by unscheduled migrant arrivals. Admitting more legal workers benefits Americans by expanding the labor supply, which is essential to economic growth as U.S. population growth falls to low levels. The historic refugee flows from Latin America, driven by economic hardship and political repression in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and other countries, are unlikely to be stopped by harsh means but can be managed by expanding legal pathways and through regional cooperation. The strong U.S. economy after the Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to the refugee flows."