America Needs a Functioning Immigration System that Serves the Needs of America

September 13, 2011

  America’s current immigration system is deeply flawed.

  • It fails to address the very real economic need for high- and low-skilled workers to fill gaps in our workforce.
  • It isn’t realistic. Because there are so few opportunities for immigrant workers to come legally, the American economy now depends on undocumented workers to fill jobs in agricultural and service sectors that create upstream and downstream jobs.
  • It’s costly and it fails to address pressing national security concerns. When our enforcement agents are chasing farm workers and maids, their focus is not public safety and national security.
  • It is an affront to our Founding Fathers’ vision of America and values which underpin our society—welcoming the stranger, extending equal rights, equal treatment and opportunity for all.

 The American public understands the need for comprehensive federal reform and wants to see it happen.

  • A May 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center reaffirms long-standing support for immigration reform. It found that 72 percent of the public favors a process for legalizing the undocumented compared to 24 percent against it.
  • According to the same study, 58 percent of moderate Republicans support legalization, while respondents identifying themselves as very conservatives were evenly divided on the issue.
  • The Pew poll is consistent with many others that have been conducted by news and polling organizations as the immigration debate has dragged on over the past several years.

 

Americans want their leaders to find realistic solutions to our broken system that respect the rule of law and uphold our best values: liberty, opportunity, and fairness for all.

 The National Immigration Forum works to create a national immigration strategy that:

    • Requires undocumented immigrants to register with the government, go through background checks, pay taxes, pay an appropriate penalty and study English on their way to becoming full U.S. citizens;
    • Provides for the future by ensuring our immigration system meets the needs of our economy, enhances American competitiveness, and keeps families together;
    • Enhances our national security by focusing our enforcement and security measures on the most dangerous threats to our communities;
    • Protects honest employers, protects workers, and respects the rights of all.