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Bloggings On Immigration Law And Policy

by Greg Siskind

Editor's note: Here are the latest entries from Greg Siskind's blog.

October 27, 2008


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote a detailed memorandum to the next President in the latest Newsweek Magazine. The mayor succinctly lays out the case for immigration reform being included in the First 100 Days agenda:

Pioneering green energy—and countless other new technologies—requires the best and brightest minds. Unfortunately, our broken immigration system has been shutting too many of them out. In many cases, brilliant young students come to America to receive an education, but after they receive their degrees, the federal government boots them out—and so they take everything they have learned and go put it to work for another country. That's insanity! And it is badly damaging our capacity for innovation.

Traditionally, economic downturns have heightened xenophobia and resulted in tighter immigration restrictions—making a bad economic situation worse. We cannot allow that to happen again. Too many companies are already setting up shop elsewhere because of the difficulty they have getting visas for their foreign workers. That means fewer jobs for middle-class Americans, and less tax revenue to pay for education, health care and other essential services.

Immigration reform is central to getting our economy back on track. The elements of the most practical and effective plan combine ideas from both the left and the right: imposing tighter border security; creating a 21st-century worker identification card that will allow employers to verify the legality of a job applicant and allow the federal government to enforce the law; increasing lawful opportunity for those seeking the American Dream; and—following in the footsteps of President Reagan—allowing those who are here illegally the chance to earn the right to stay.

You will never convince the demagogues, but most members of Congress will be willing to support this kind of common-sense approach if they believe it will not threaten their re-election campaigns. Tell them—including members of the opposite party—that they will have your support in their re-election campaigns. That simple act may do more to shake up the Washington establishment than anything that has occurred there in decades.