By Queion Swift
Immigration has been of the biggest political debates of the last decade, however I’m not sure I’ve ever heard it explored through a positive economic lens.
Marc Rosenblum, Deputy Director of the U.S Immigrant Policy Program explains that in our aging country where our highest numbers belong to those over age 35, allowing for immigration would pump young blood into our nation. If we can provide citizenship for these young people we allow them to become thriving and working members of our society, viably contributing to our melting pot culture and our economic terrain. When questioned about why so many chose to illegally stay in the U.S rather than apply for legal citizenship. Rosenblum discussed the process of procuring a sponsor for citizenship for a singular person, then waiting 6-12 years for that individual’s family to be brought over as well only after they had completed
citizenship. For people with American born children, those children must be 21 before being capable of sponsoring their parent meaning a full legal immigration process can take anywhere from 10-20 years for a family to united.
Mark Krikorian, Executive Director for the Center for Immigration Studies discussed how our Immigration system is broken. Stating that the 1963 termination of the Bracero Program, which legally allowed Latinos to come to the U.S for migrant work for a portion of the year. Since then gaining legal access to the U.S has been less than simple, with many conditions on how and why someone may start to pursue a path to naturalized citizenship.
The Concord Coalition examines the budget and how current spending trends will affect our long-term future as a world power and balanced economic nation. Examining the effect of the nation ageing from the Baby Boom generation entering retirement, with life expectancies at their highest in history creates an odd economic stance for our budget when we examine the factors of: Social Security and Medicare as federal programs benefitting the elderly. These programs will become increasingly more costly and difficult to keep up as we near and threaten to surpass our national debt exceeding 75% GDP.
Which raises the question of what now? How can we begin to rebuild our economic independence and strength, lower the debt and protect interests without significant change in the near future? A new Baby Boom? Or accepting new citizens?