Washington D.C. - This Sunday, the editorial pages of the Washington Post included a piece penned by journalist George Will on the topic of birthright citizenship. Will highlights a scholar who argues against giving those born in the United States birthright citizenship and characterizes the repeal of a 150 year-old constitutional tenet as "a simple reform." Normally, the idea of stripping those born in America of their right to citizenship has been relegated to the domain of immigration restrictionists and select politicians who try to exploit it for electoral gains. In endorsing this argument, Mr. Will has looked past a whole body of research which examines the dramatic and far- reaching consequences this would have on American society.
The arguments about birthright citizenship revolve around the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, which affirms that all persons born in the United States (and subject to its jurisdiction) have a birthright to citizenship. A repeal of the 14th amendment is sometimes raised as a "cure" to our current broken immigration system, when in reality it takes us further away from the larger conversation that must be had about how we can fairly and efficiently revamp American immigration. Proposing solutions to the symptoms, rather than the root causes of a broken system, do nothing to solve our overall immigration problems and create divisions and dysfunctions in our society at all levels.
Washington D.C. - Today, in the Washington Post, Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) laid out their blueprint for immigration reform legislation, noting that the American people want Congress to reform the badly broken immigration system. Their framework, welcomed by the President in a statement also released today, rests on four pillars: ending illegal employment through biometric Social Security cards, enhancing border and interior enforcement, managing the flow of future immigration to correspond to economic realities, and creating a tough but fair path toward legalization for the 11 million people currently in the U.S. without authorization. While there will undoubtedly be intense debate over the specifics of each component, the framework marks an important bipartisan step forward on an issue that has been mired in political controversy and held up by both parties for too long.
"Today's statements mark renewed commitment to providing immigration reform that will bolster the economy and provide for America's future," said Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center. "We encourage the President and Senators Schumer and Graham to go beyond words and produce legislation that will finally fix our broken immigration system once and for all."
Washington D.C. - In the State of the Union Address this evening President Obama made clear his ongoing commitment to immigration reform noting "we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system - to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation." Some may continue to argue that immigration reform is too politically risky to move on this year and that we should focus instead on rebuilding our economy. However, comprehensive immigration reform is compatible with economic reform as it would generate needed economic growth, create jobs and increase tax contributions by ensuring that everyone working in the United States is doing so legally. In fact, immigration reform would allow us to take full advantage of the opportunities for economic growth that immigrants bring.
Immigration Yields Tremendous Economic Benefits to America
Massachusetts Senator-Elect Scott Brown will shortly step into the Senate seat held for nearly half a century by one of the most loyal champions of immigrants to ever sit in Congress. Because of that history, Bay Staters have come to expect that their Senators will understand the important contributions of immigrants to the growth and well-being of their state. Regardless of politics or ideology, as the new Senator gets down to the business of representing his entire state, understanding the significant role of immigrants will become essential.
Of all the New England states, Senator Brown's immigrant and new American constituents are perhaps the most diverse and numerous, continuing the tradition of generations of immigrants who helped build Massachusetts. The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research that shows immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are a political and economic powerhouse in Massachusetts, contributing billions to the state economy, and are part of the very economic engine that keeps the Bay State running strong.
New Report Highlights Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform
January 7, 2010
Washington D.C. - As the U.S. slowly pulls free from a deep recession, a groundbreaking new study concludes that comprehensive immigration reform would provide just the type of boost our economy needs. Today, the Center for American Progress (CAP) and Immigration Policy Center (IPC) released a joint report, Raising the Floor for American Workers: The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which shows that legalizing the roughly 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. through comprehensive immigration reform, as well as making future flows more flexible, would grow the economy by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. The stark number cuts into the credibility of claims by immigration restrictionists that immigration reform during an economic recession is implausible.
Today, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), in the House of Representatives. The 87 original co-sponsors of the bill include members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Black Caucus, Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Progressive Caucus.
Washington D.C. - Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an oversight hearing with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano. The Secretary's opening statement reiterated her view that immigration enforcement is a necessity, but that enforcement alone is not a solution for our broken immigration system. Secretary Napolitano noted, "We can no longer perpetuate a status quo that is unacceptable for workers, employers, law enforcement, faith leaders, and America as a whole. We must seize this moment to build a truly effective immigration system that deters illegal immigration, provides effective and enduring enforcement tools, protects workers from exploitation and retaliation, and creates a tough but fair path to legalization for the millions of illegal immigrants already here."
As a front-page story in today's Washington Post reminds us: "Not since the last great wave of immigration to the United States around 1900 has the country's economic future been so closely entwined with the generational progress of an immigrant group." The story highlights the degree to which the children of immigrants from Latin America have become crucial to sustaining the working-age population and tax base of the nation as the 75 million Baby Boomers retire. The parents of these children most likely would not have even come to this country if not for the U.S. economy's past high demand for workers to fill less-skilled jobs; demand which was not being adequately met by the rapidly aging and better-educated native-born labor force.
A new report from the restrictionist group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), Immigration and Crime: Assessing a Conflicted Issue, attempts to overturn a century’s worth of research which has demonstrated repeatedly that immigrants are less likely than the native-born to commit violent crimes or end up behind bars.