As Chris Farrell so eloquently states in a recent column in Businessweek.com, more immigration is key to the healthy growth of the U.S. economy. As soon as the fiscal cliff issue is dealt with, President Obama must turn his attention to overhauling the clogged, dysfunctional, faulty immigration system. Obama has stated that immigration reform is a major focus of his second term, and the 2012 election results may have finally convinced many Republican lawmakers that their hard-line stance on undocumented immigrants needs to be revisited.
Farrell outlines some suggestions for Washington, including the development of a fast-track system to process into citizenship the more than 11 million undocumented U.S. workers, excluding the individuals convicted of violent crimes and/or multiple felonies. For the undocumented in the U.S. who are working, attending school, and are enmeshed in their community, allowing them to gain citizenship status acknowledges that they have worked like previous generations of immigrants before them to be part of the American dream.
The fast-tracking would also be healthy as public policy, Farrell argues. Legal workers can change jobs and move up the economic ladder, which lets them invest in their careers, buy homes, feel comfortable moving out of the shadows and into more visible roles in their communities, and start their own businesses. Entrepreneurship, home ownership, and community action are all ways to help a local economy grow and thrive.
But, as Farrell points out, a fast-tracking to citizenship will likely not be rubberstamped by politicians. The very concept of amnesty for hard-working, undocumented workers has continued to be a hot button topic. And yet the boon from foreign-born entrepreneurs is a large part of U.S. economic success. While foreign-born workers currently make up just over 13 percent of the U.S. population, a solid one-third of patents filed in the U.S. originate from that small group.
The economy also reaps the benefits of lower-wage workers. Immigrant workers move into failing neighborhoods and revive the microeconomies there with small, family-owned businesses. The work of immigrant workers currently fuel the nation’s agriculture, hand-work, cottage and meat-packing industries. In contrast to the fear that immigrant workers “take jobs,” the reverse is often true: studies show that middle-class families enjoy the benefits of affordable immigrant labor for child care, landscaping and house care and other services. Newly immigrant workers, on average, are not as fluent in English as native-born citizens, nor do they have the same level of education, and thus there is seldom a competition for same-level jobs.
A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at http://www.visatous.com.