Writing in the New York Times on June 21, columnist Bret Stephens listed the ways in which immigration makes our country stronger, wealthier and more productive. “America’s immigration crisis right now,” Stephens wrote, “is that we don’t have enough immigrants.”
Stephens is correct to point out that immigration makes us better off in a myriad of ways, which is why as Congress debates how to address the issues of immigration, we should be urging our members of congress to not support arbitrary reductions of our legal immigration levels.
There’s no denying that our immigration system is complex and inefficient – built on laws that have not been updated in decades.
It’s time that we finally begin to modernize and streamline our legal immigration system to provide those in search of opportunity who wish to work hard and contribute to our country, with adequate, legal, and attainable channels to follow. The sooner we begin that debate, the better.
In the short term, the American people want protections for the Dreamers and enhanced border security. This is something that will require both parties to reach across the aisle to get this done, now. In the longer term, we must also address the future flow of immigration, to ensure that America is prioritizing the admission of those who will contribute positively to our society.
To wrap up Immigrant Heritage Month, let’s note a few areas in which immigration makes us better off:
- Immigrants are exceedingly entrepreneurial, driving essential small business creation in the United States.
- Immigration is correlated with high levels of national economic success. By shoring up the market’s labor supply, immigration can save some industries billions.
- Contrary to much of the political rhetoric out there, immigrants are in fact very law-abiding, lowering the crime rate where they settle.
Like many before them, immigrants seek out America for her liberty, her entrepreneurial spirit and her promise of equality under the law—and, in turn, America should seek out immigrants for their incredible capacity to be hardworking, law-abiding and upstanding citizens.
But first, we need to enact real immigration reform. Sign the petition to strengthen our country, provide certainty and a future for Dreamers, and improve enforcement of the law.