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Straight Talk About Immigration

January 14, 2024 (1 min read)

"The increased arrivals at the U.S. southern border, and the dysfunction of an immigration system that has not been reformed by Congress for more than 30 years, have fueled arguments that the United States should turn away immigrants at the border. While newly arriving migrants may need short term services, the overwhelming evidence shows that immigrants provide enormous benefits to the United States.  They are a huge engine of economic growth and contribute billions of dollars in federal, state and local taxes annually.  They use fewer public benefits than they contribute. Ultimately, it is the outdated and ineffective immigration system – not immigrants – that holds back the nation’s growth. Congress’s inability to pass laws that update immigration visa numbers are hurting families and businesses. American families now suffer prolonged separation as they wait months, even decades, for family visas to become available. American businesses across industry sectors are experiencing historic shortages of workers.  They need people to fill positions that cannot be filled by U.S. workers. In 2022, Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve attributed labor shortages in part to a “plunge in net immigration.”  Labor shortages are hurting economic growth. Republican Governors Holcomb of Indiana and Cox of Utah are urging Congress to bring more foreign workers to meet their states’ needs. In Florida, a lack of workers has compelled farmers to reduce production. Their labor challenges were made worse by a new law that makes it harder for immigrants to work in the state. Congress can no longer put aside what it has avoided for over three decades: it must pass laws that establish adequate legal pathways to meet the country’s needs. Congress should also do what the overwhelming majority of Americans believe is the right thing: provide permanent legal status for Dreamers and others who are undocumented.  They have contributed to this nation for years and will continue to strengthen the nation. Everyone agrees America needs a better functioning immigration system. A forward-thinking system that recognizes immigration’s importance to our national interest will ensure the nation’s continuing prosperity and simultaneously ensure fair and orderly management of the border." - Gregory Chen, Senior Director of Government Relations, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives Immigration Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary Hearing on The Impact of Illegal Immigration on Social Services, January 11, 2024.