The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

    Awaiting immigration reform

    A group of U.S. senators dubbed the “Gang of Eight” unveiled a much-anticipated comprehensive immigration proposal last month known as the “Immigration Modernization Act.”

    Providing legal status and eventual citizenship to undocumented immigrants, contrary to popular belief, will actually benefit the economy as a whole.

    A study by the Center for American Progress found that legalization of undocumented immigrants will increase the income of Americans by $470 billion over a 10-year period and add 121,000 jobs to the economy per year.

    Upon being added to employment  rolls, undocumented immigrants will become bona fide taxpayers and consumers, contributing to state and local coffers in need of revenue.

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    Doug Holtz-Eakin, former Congressional Budget Office director, found that immigration reform could increase GDP growth by 1 percent over the first 10 years.

    With legalization, earnings for undocumented immigrants would increase, and pay “an additional $109 billion in taxes over the 10-year period — $69 billion to the federal government and $40 billion to state and local governments.”

    The proposed legislation is by no means perfect.

    The path to citizenship is a tedious 13-year process for most in waiting and new border security measures might not be enough to successfully secure the southern border.

    However, the proposal should be praised for granting a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who have been forced to dwell in the shadows in fear of being deported.

    Lest we forget, we are a nation of immigrants and this legislation, if passed, would provide children and adults alike with the same opportunities past generations had to shape the diverse narrative of our country.

    However, with the fear wrought by the recent Boston bombings and the flood of media coverage surrounding the Tsarnaev brothers’ foreign birth, some have asked for the immigration bill to be delayed.

    U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky authored a letter to the Senate advising it not to proceed with the immigration bill “until we understand the specific failures of our immigration system.”
    “Why did the current system allow two individuals to immigrate to the United States from the Chechen Republic in Russia … who then committed acts of terrorism?” Paul wrote. “Were there any safeguards? Could this have been prevented?”

    In fact, the immigration bill will decrease the likelihood of a Boston bombings redux by creating an entry-exit system capable of detecting foreign visitors to the country who stay past expired visas, and would also require that people illegally present in the U.S. register with the federal government.

    The added scrutiny caused by the Boston Marathon attack, which killed three people and injured more than 200 others, is warranted but should not derail the dreams of the millions of hard-working immigrants who wish to be a part of our country.

    It would be a grave mistake if we allowed the Boston bombings to be a catalyst for anti-immigrant sentiment; the senseless acts of a small minority should not ruin the opportunities of a large majority.

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