A recording of today’s press call is available here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The implementation of a point-based immigration system in the United States would undermine key American industries and hinder our ability to meet labor force needs, policy experts said on a press call today.
A new paper from the National Immigration Forum and the National Foundation for American Policy lays out not only the ways in which legal immigration helps the economy, but that a reduction in immigration would not yield a significant wage increase for American workers.
The following are quotes from speakers on today’s call:
Stuart Anderson, Executive Director, National Foundation for American Policy:
“We need to balance our nation’s need for workers who have different skills with family-based immigration. The separation of authorities between the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government likely makes it impossible for any point system to work effectively and in a manner similar to point systems in Canada and Australia.”
Jacinta Ma, Director, Policy and Advocacy, National Immigration Forum:
“The RAISE Act is not a solution to the problems with our immigration system. We need to modernize our immigration system to address our country’s economic needs and the needs of American workers and businesses while still recognizing our country’s family values. The proposed drastic reduction of legal immigration and proposed point system would be extremely detrimental to our nation.”
Craig Regelbrugge, Senior Vice President, AmericanHort:
“In agriculture, immigrants and temporary workers are really more complementary than they are competitive with U.S. workers. This is because they enable production of high-value crops and products here in the United States, and when we produce here, we are also stimulating the creation of mostly American job opportunities that exist off the farm but are tied to production. These jobs sustain rural communities literally coast-to-coast.”
Peter Rekai, Attorney, Rekai LLP, Toronto:
“The Canadian immigration experience is fundamentally different from the American immigration experience. A point-based immigration system only works when it can adjust to the rapidly changing needs of the labor market, and the Canadian system was introduced to attract immigrants and diversify the nation. The system proposed by the RAISE Act fails to accommodate this, and would be nearly impossible to implement effectively in the American context.”
Laura Reiff, Co-Managing Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Chair, Board of Directors, National Immigration Forum:
“The severely broken immigration system needs solutions that meet the needs of our economy. Recognizing current semiskilled workforce needs and crafting a program to allow willing immigrant workers to enter the U.S. when U.S. workers are not available is critical. If the U.S. had had such an immigration channel that worked for these types of workers, we would not have the immigration dysfunction we have today.”
The Impact of a Point-Based Immigration System on Agriculture and Other Business Sectors