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One Year Later, America Has Even More Room to Grow

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With labor shortages intensifying and population growth stalling, the message of a paper published last year is as relevant as ever: Immigration is essential to addressing America’s demographic challenges.  

Room to Grow: Setting Immigration Levels in a Changing America underscores the need for a forward-looking, evidence-based immigration system that not only meets the country’s current needs but equips us for the future.  

One year later, as the paper’s co-author Danilo Zak writes in an update, the challenges identified in the paper have only intensified — and its recommendations have become even more prescient. Labor shortages are increasing, and new census data reveal that the country’s population grew “at a slower rate in 2021 than in any other year since the founding of the nation.” 

Demographic decline is a problem that will persist and intensify without decisive action,” said Danilo Zak, Policy & Advocacy Manager at the National Immigration Forum and co-author of the paper. “The Biden administration has already taken many positive steps forward to rebuild our immigration system and to welcome more immigrants. But ultimately, the task will fall to Congress.” 

“In February 2021, we highlighted the challenges our nation will face without increased immigration. In February 2022, we’re seeing just how quickly these challenges are coming to bear,” said Ali Noorani, President & CEO of the National Immigration Forum and co-author of the paper. “This isn’t a cause for pessimism — it’s an impetus for permanent, bipartisan immigration reform.”  

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