August 5, 2010


The GOP needs to become the party of “Yes” on immigration (Stewart Lawrence, 08/05/2010, The Daily Caller)

he real challenge for the GOP is to articulate a more prosperity-oriented vision for immigration policy – and that means shifting the country’s attention away from controlling illegal immigration towards promoting more and better legal immigration.

The GOP, as the party of prosperity and mobility, needs to remind the country that immigrants are still our nation’s lifeblood – but only if we design the proper policies.

For example, the United States is currently losing the increasingly globalized competition for skilled scientific and technical workers because it refuses to adjust its visa policies to recruit and retain the “best and the brightest.”

Republicans should be in the forefront of a plan to eliminate the visa cap for H-1 skilled workers and to make it easier for foreign-born students in our universities to obtain green cards, instead of forcing them to return home, which bolster our competitors’ economies.

The same common-sense pro-immigration policies should also be adopted for unskilled workers. In a deep recession like the current one, native-born workers can replace some of the illegal aliens currently in the construction, retail, and service industries.

But in an expanding economy, the labor market demand for unskilled workers will outstrip the domestic supply – by about 400,000 workers per year. We will still need to channel foreign-born, unskilled workers into our economy through some kind of legal system – either through a temporary worker program, or with more green cards.

Simply saying “no” to foreign, unskilled workers won’t protect our economy’s labor markets, which have needs at both the “high” and “low” ends of the skill spectrum.

Finally, there is no reason to alienate Latinos who might otherwise lean Republican with exceedingly harsh – and at times, xenophobic – rhetoric about illegal aliens. As we close the enforcement noose tightly, to deter future illegal flows, there should be room in our hearts for compassion and leniency towards those who have lived and worked in the US illegally for many years, paying taxes, and obeying our laws, when our enforcement policies were lax.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 5, 2010 6:07 PM
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