ICYMI: Ron Brownstein on “How Legal Immigration Might Solve Two of America’s Toughest Problems”

ICYMI: Ron Brownstein on “How Legal Immigration Might Solve Two of America’s Toughest Problems”


Washington, DC – In a new analysis for CNN, columnist Ronald Brownstein assesses, “How legal immigration might solve two of America’s toughest problems,” underscoring the importance of legal immigration pathways to both strengthening our economy and alleviating pressures at the border.

According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice:

“At a time when America’s economy is crying out for legal immigration reforms and our broken immigration system is showing why it needs a full overhaul, Republicans are moving in the wrong direction. They are now ideologically opposed to legal immigration and the presence of immigrants – regardless of their legal status – in the U.S., which puts the GOP out of step with the majority of voters. It also drives Republicans to oppose solutions, preferring chaos and their narrative of ‘illegality’ to policies that could restore order to immigration and enhance the ability of immigrants to help the U.S. economy.”

Read the full CNN column from Ron Brownstein at the following link, “How legal immigration might solve two of America’s toughest problems,” and find key excerpts below:

“Even as businesses across the nation are complaining about their inability to find enough workers, the federal government is struggling to stem the relentless flow of migrants at the Southern border trying to find work in the US. No one suggests the answer to worker shortages is to open the border, but it remains a paradox that the nation is straining to keep out migrants looking to work even as employers say the shortage of workers is preventing them from filling millions of jobs. That worker shortfall has also emerged as a key factor driving persistent inflation and higher interest rates.

…With or without more legal immigration, experts agree, deteriorating economic and social conditions in multiple countries across Latin America guarantees difficulty in controlling the flow of migrants trying to cross the Southern border. But, to a degree that hasn’t been fully recognized, President Joe Biden and his administration are betting that creating more legal options will reduce the number of people looking to cross illegally and reduce pressure at the border, while also responding to the economy’s need for more workers.

…The Biden calculation is that more opportunity for legal entry creates more leverage for tougher enforcement. If potential migrants conclude they have no realistic chance to enter and work in America legally, the White House believes, they are less likely to be dissuaded by penalties under US law that can bar them from entry for years when they are caught trying to enter illegally. Migrants, after all, may not view such a prohibition on legal entry as much of a risk if there was virtually no chance of legal admission anyway. In the eyes of the administration, and like-minded immigration advocates, it takes a plausible carrot (the prospect of legal entry) to create an effective stick (with the entry ban of five years or more for illegal crossings that the administration announced when it ended the Trump administration’s pandemic-era Title 42 policy at the border.)

…Though the surge of migrants that critics expected after the end of Title 42 has not materialized, communities near the border and beyond are still struggling to cope with the steady flow of those arriving and seeking asylum. Yet for many it remains jarring that the nation is simultaneously struggling to keep out throngs of people who want to work even as businesses insist they can’t fill millions of jobs.

…Using executive authority, Biden has done more to pave those legal pathways than generally recognized. Biden has doubled the number of migrants admitted under permanent employment visas by using his statutory authority to reallocate unused family-based visas to the employment category. He’s significantly expanded the number of temporary guest workers admitted for both agriculture and seasonal employment in businesses like fisheries and hotels, and targeted some of those extra visas to Latin American countries, including Guatemala and El Salvador, where difficult domestic conditions heighten pressure for illegal migration. Biden has also substantially increased the number of people designated for “Temporary Protected Status” that allows them to stay and work (or study) in the US because of unsafe conditions in their home country.”

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