Here’s the thing about comprehensive immigration reform (CIR): it’s in the best interest of just about every single person in this country, whether you’re an undocumented immigrant trying to earn fair wages and keep your family secure or you’re a long-time citizen who’s trying to….well, earn fair wages and keep your family secure. The group that stands to lose mightily, of course, are those businesses which exploit undocumented workers through wage theft, horrendous working conditions, and immigration-status related threats. Of course, it’s precisely these practices which drive down wages and benefits for American workers. Greed, it turns out, is not only unethical, it’s also unpatriotic.
On the other hand, a report from the libertarian CATO Institute released last August found that legalizing the 8 million undocumented workers in the US would have a net benefit to the economy of $180 BILLION DOLLARS over 10 years. Notably, this study also finds that increased enforcement and reduced low-skilled immigration–the solutions advocated by CIR opponents– “have a significant negative impact on the income of U.S. households.”
The UUA is supporting the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009, H.R. 4321, introduced by Rep. Luis Gutierrez. For more info on the bill, visit our coalition partner the National Immigration Forum. The well-named CIR-ASAP Act has garnered widespread support because it provides a path to legal status, supports due process for all, protects workers, promotes family unity, and offers more educational opportunities for youth.