National Security and Economic Competitiveness at Risk without Reform
Today, an independent and bipartisan task force released the findings of their report on immigration reform at the Council on Foreign Relations. The task force, led by former Governor Jeb Bush (R -FL) and former Clinton Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, presented their recommendations during a panel this morning.
“The recommendations of this high-powered, diverse and bipartisan panel clearly underscore the urgent need for fundamental immigration reform if we are to make our nation stronger, more competitive and more secure,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice. “The political middle ground is rapidly forming for all parties to come together and fix a problem that has festered too long. The American people are demanding a political solution to this vexing problem and they want it done now. This report reinforces the growing acceptance that through immigration reform we can advance our national security, help our economy and restore the rule of law in a way that is fair and just.”
Among their recommendations, the task force says that:
The United States should overhaul its current immigration system in response to national security concerns; should set up a standing commission to establish future legal immigration levels based on economic conditions and should institute an earned legalization program, requiring those who wish to stay to work, pay taxes, learn English, pass background checks, pay fines and wait their turn behind legal immigrants.
Recent polling shows that support for this kind of overhaul is overwhelming across all political affiliations. In particular, when Republicans are given the details behind reform, and asked whether they support Congress passing a law that would: “Secure the border, crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants, and require illegal immigrants to register for legal immigration status, pay back taxes, and learn English in order to be eligible for U.S. citizenship,” 89 percent of Republicans said yes. Similarly, 84 percent self identified Independents support this approach to immigration reform.
“The American people want this issue resolved in a way that requires undocumented immigrants to register and get legal with the US government, pay a fine, pay taxes and get in line for earned citizenship,” continued Sharry. “Those Members of Congress and politicians worried about communicating with swing voters and centrists would do well to adopt these recommendations and look at the overwhelming level of support that the American people have for fixing this problem. The country is in a problem solving mood, and there will be a price to pay at the ballot box if there are no solutions.”