John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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Plenty of Upsides to Passing Immigration Reform

Posted on March 25, 2014
USA Mexico border New Mexico

The start of the border fence between the United States and Mexico near Sunland Park, New Mexico, U.S.A. and Rancho Anapra, Chihuahua, Mexico.

So, you want all of the illegal aliens to leave your local school?

Then you should support common sense immigration reform.

Stanford historian Ana Raquel Minian completed an exhaustive study, consistent with other research, which found that the more the border was militarized, the more immigrants who arrived here without documentation decided to stay in America.

Instead of making it easier for seasonal workers to come to America when their labor is needed and go home when their labor is not, border control efforts of the past have made it far more difficult for these workers to easily move back and forth, and the result is these folks and their families stay.

So, you want to do something about the deficit?

According to the Congressional Budget Office, you should support common sense immigration reform.

The CBO found that such reform effort would knock about a trillion dollars off of the deficit in 10 years.

You want to do something about our sluggish economy?

Yep, you should support common sense immigration reform.

CBO and plenty of other economists have found that the economy would grow briskly if we could fix our broken immigration reform system.   Some estimate that it could add a couple of percentage points of economic growth.

You want to do something about crime?

You should support common sense immigration reform.

The single best thing that could happen to crack down on sexual abuse, gang violence and drugs is to give legal status to the millions of hard-working immigrants who now live in America.  If they have legal status, they won’t be hesitant to call the police when they are a witness to crime.   If they don’t have legal status, they run away when crimes are committed, providing law enforcement with nothing.

You want to something about stagnant wages?

You would support common sense immigration reform.  We currently have a two-tiered economic system in this country.  We have a legal system, where employers play by the rules and pay fair wages.  And we have an illegal system, where employers pay illegal immigrants below market wages, because they can get away with it.

Common sense immigration reform will make it far more difficult for businesses to illegally hire illegal immigrants, and if we give legal status to folks who already live here, we will give them to power to demand higher wages.

The result will be one legal system and higher wages for all Americans.

You want to get rid of the illegal and despicable gangs that engage in human trafficking into America?

You will support common sense immigration reform.   These criminal gangs that pray on mostly young people only prosper because of our broken system.   We fix our system, we get rid of the “coyotes.”

If you are Republican, and you want to compete for the Hispanic vote in future Presidential elections?

You will support common sense immigration reform and you would support getting it done this year.

A new study conducted after the Texas primary found that where a candidate stood on immigration reform had no bearing on that candidate’s success.  Most Republican primary voters cared much more about Obamacare than they did about immigration reform.

This is the time to get this political issue done.

You want Hispanic and Asian voters to vote for Republicans in the future?

Pass immigration reform and give them a better chance to seize the American dream.   Our current system makes it awfully difficult for new immigrants, especially if they are undocumented, to move into the middle class.   Giving them legal status makes it easier for them to get their education (if they choose to stay here), get jobs and get a career that allows them to save money and take care of their families.  When they enter the Middle class, they lose their dependence on government and they give the Republican Party a long look.

You are afraid that the President is going to all of sudden make an executive order and create a stampede to the border?

Then support immigration reform and get the Republicans to schedule it this year.

The President won’t issue more DACA executive orders if he can get a shot at an immigration reform bill that is permanent law.

Republicans should move now to fix the broken system.    There is no downside and plenty of upsides.