Immigrants are needed – let’s figure out how to do it

Our argument is simple; the U.S. workforce is aging and cannot meet the economy’s capacity. Yet, for nearly 20 years, U.S. authorities have deported over 1 million immigrants originally from Central America’s Northern Triangle to their home countries through Mexico. But these potential workers are essential to the U.S. right now: Historically immigrants have been young and have joined the workforce in occupations that very few Americans are able or willing to fill today.

In May 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection registered 240,000 encounters that month, up nearly 70 percent from May 2019, putting fiscal year 2022 on track to hit a record number of border encounters in recent history.

Despite the conditions at the border, a deep dive into the data speaks for itself on the need for the U.S. to drastically redesign its migration policy with respect to Mexico and Central America and to put forward legal pathways for immigrants to enter and work in the United States instead of trying to apprehend them at the border.

Brookings

There are reportedly four to five million more jobs available than workers available. How do we fill that gap and keep the economy running?

7 comments

  1. “During the great migration from Europe to the US during the late 1800’s, entry to the US was controlled.” No, actually, the immigration rules were mostly wide open, until legislation in 1924. I know that because my mom emigrated from Slovakia in 1925. Had she been born a few days later, in 1925, not sure she would have been allowed to emigrate. The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States through a national origins quota. The quota provided immigration visas to two percent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States as of the 1890 national census.

    With respect to spending on border control, the just passed Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, often called the “omnibus bill,” is a 4,155-page spending package that designates $410 million (out of $1.7+ Trillion) for “enhanced border security” in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Oman. Jordan is guaranteed at least $150 million from the total allocation.

    So, forget about Ukraine’s border (my father’s father was born in the Ukraine). Why are we spending anything on the border controls identified above before we’ve secured our own border? Obviously, as President Biden said, visiting the border, controlling the border is not his priority. Biden told reporters ‘there are more important things going on’ when asked if he would visit the border while in Arizona to focus on some new semiconductor plant.

    With respect to immigration, if there are jobs out there that Americans can do, why are we providing unemployment benefits? Why did Congress dump $2+ Trillion in supposed “pandemic” relief? If there are jobs that Americans don’t want to do, well, cut off their welfare, TANF, unemployment, etc. Amazing what a motivator being poor iand hungry is – my parents and grandparents confirmed how they would scrape for $1. Take a guess why my grandparents (and my mom) all emigrated to America? Still, they all needed a sponsor to be legal.

    With respect to immigration, we don’t need people who don’t speak english and who do not have a high school education or beyond. We’re already graduating enough illiterate and skill-less people from our own high schools.

    We need people who won’t be dependent on taxpayers.

    As it was in 1925, with my mom, everyone who comes here should be sponsored by someone already here – no government dole – not even a blanket, or a burger.

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  2. Yes I do. What did we learn about China, Korea and Vietnam? We didn’t stop anything. It is the will of the local people that determine the out comes. Europe let Russia expand during the cold war and they did not protect borders then either. The US propped up NATO for decades and that is the only thing that stopped the Russians.

    Should the US let millions of people into our country uncontrolled? These people expect us to bend to their traditions that caused them to flee. Is that not the main argument the Russia is using for invading Ukraine? To protect the Russian people in Ukraine territory?

    During the great migration from Europe to the US during the late 1800’s, entry to the US was controlled. Now we just have an invasion of our country. People want higher wages but millions will work for less because it is better than where they came from. How is this good for the American worker?

    These new IRS agents are going after the rich when they need to be going after the businesses that pay under the table. Just go to your local Home Depot or Lowes at 6 am, and you’ll see these people waiting to be hired for cash under the table. (I am not making this up, I see them). I am sure the same is true for manufacturing and meat packing plants. INS used to bust these places but have you heard of any raids in the last two years? They used to deport the illegals when they got caught but now they bus them to a city near you.

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  3. I am under the impression that the number of border crossings are greater than the number of apprehensions and many are released to appear later at a hearing for asylum. So how does Brookings make the case that all are needed. In Georgia there have been many illegals over the years and they do jobs that are crappy in the eyes of the native population. The problem more recently is the number of recent arrivals that are appearing on police blotters for various crimes. Not all want to work. In addition, we need skilled labor and trained personnel in occupations like healthcare and not unlimited grasscutters and roofers. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with cutting grass or roofing just that we have our quota, at least where I live. I will leave the question of Ukraine and Russia to others.

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  4. “Democrats are willing to spend billions of dollars on Ukraine’s security while totally failing to spend a dime to protect our own citizens against an invasion at our southern border,” Representative Joey Arrington of Texas said in a statement.

    Who’s right? How do you fact check?

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    1. First as far as southern border goes that is not at all accurate the US spends $4.9 billion annually on the southern border alone and second it’s not just a matter of Ukraine’s security, but a more important issue of Russian aggression and not letting it go unchecked. To make this a Republican, Democrat or any political issues is reprehensible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Number of Russian troops that invaded Ukraine is reported to be somewhere between 137,000 to 1.15 million. Number of illegal border crossing in FY 2022 is estimated to be 2.76 million (per NBC news). But we keep sending $50B checks to the Ukraine every time Congress passes an appropriations bill. We will secure the Ukraine’s border but not our own?

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      2. Do you really think that is a valid comparison? It’s not a matter of securing Ukraine border, but I suspect you really do know what it’s about.

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