U.S. economy needs immigrants

  • Article by: Washington Post Editorial
  • Updated: June 24, 2013 - 10:32 AM

Throughout American history, the story of immigration has been tinged by emotions and fear as millions of people abandoned the old and took a brave and often risky leap into the new. It has also been a tale of remarkable cultural blending. Less well understood but still important, immigration has been a story of economics. From the Europeans who fled war and famine in earlier epochs to the Latin American, Asian and other immigrants of today, new arrivals are often strivers, entrepreneurs, innovators and just plain hard workers.

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pumiceJun. 23, 13 8:10 PM

From the article: "[Immigration] is a net plus to the economy." Setting aside the fact that we heard the same thing about NAFTA, CAFTA, and trade agreements with Canada and China, I agree that Heritage is wrong. Generation after generation of immigrant strivers have contributed to the growth of our economy as well as to the vibrancy of our culture. Why, without immigration, most of us wouldn't be here!

I am concerned about the H1B policy under discussion in Congress. In the interests of reversing US wage decline/stagnation and stemming the increasing income/wealth gaps, I agree with hermajesty that Congress should adopt Canada's H1B policy--no H1Bs unless the employer can prove that no candidate is available at any price.

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davehougJun. 23, 13 9:15 PM

Certainly there are pros and cons. The right balance needs to be decided. WHO decides, Congress or every person crossing illegally or over-staying a visa? My point is you can't have balance with open borders. We currently have as many illegals as those who came thru Ellis Island during the whole time it was open. We have an Ellis Island size hole with ships arriving every day.

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pumiceJun. 24, 13 9:39 AM

Re: "My point is you can't have balance with open borders.... We have an Ellis Island size hole with ships arriving every day." Coupla things, davehoug: (1) Between high unemployment, increased deportations, hundreds of miles of new fence on the southern border, thousands of additional agents posted on the southern border and heightened drone surveillance on the borders--net migration has come to a standstill. (Pew Research)

(2) New ships aren't arriving every day--not even metaphorically. There were 327,577 illegal immigrant apprehensions in 2011--the lowest number since 1972, when there were 321,326. (U.S. Border Patrol)

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gandalf48Jun. 24, 1311:15 AM

This seems like such a simple issue to resolve. Allow all illegal immigrants to become legal and give them a probationary period (5-10 years) to pay all their taxes, pay a fine, stay out of major legal trouble and have no access to social welfare programs. Once they pass that time period with no problems and being upstanding US residents they can go through the process of becoming a citizen...then at that point they can gain access to social welfare programs.

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libsheepJun. 24, 1312:29 PM

What happened to the days of having to have a sponsor, ensuring you could "Pay your own way", and falling in line with everyone else who is waiting to become a US citizen? Amnesty should not even be considered unless these new immigrants have all three criteria mentioned above.

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twspt7Jun. 24, 13 1:40 PM

Most immigrants - legal or illegal - come here for jobs, folks. No jobs, no immigrants. Go after those who employ illegal aliens in earnest and the "problem" will take care of itself.

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boris123Jun. 24, 13 3:49 PM

"...Go after those who employ illegal aliens in earnest and the "problem" will take care of itself." The employers are not the illegal immigrants and have not broken any immigration laws. Saying get rid of employers to solve the illegal immigrant mess is like saying making guns illegal will solve the gun problem. If government did its job illegal immigrants would not be a problem. If the government did its job people using guns would not include the mentally ill.

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occupynuttinJun. 24, 13 4:47 PM

With unemployment still very high and millions of Americans (both high tech, low tech and no tech) sitting on the unemployment bench the author is clearly delusional to insist that we that we need to give 12Million work permits and then hand another 33Million work permits out over the next decade while the US Government continues to import more cheap foreign labor to compete for jobs, wages and benefits.

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occupynuttinJun. 24, 13 4:51 PM

What ever happened to the days of having to have a sponsor, ensuring you could "Pay your own way" and pledging allegiance to American while swearing off your old allegiance to the old country? Dual citizenships is not good for America!

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occupynuttinJun. 24, 13 4:55 PM

And you want each of them to pass a background check on which fradulent identity? And which catch and release programme will they be ahdned off to if they don't pass the background check? Three misdemeanors seems like an aweful lot of crime considering most of the charges are usually plea bargained down before making the final conviction. How many millions of scumbags fall into this category?

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