Leaders in Congress must also not conflate the legalization of undocumented immigrants with increasing immigration levels. While undocumented individuals already in the U.S. may not have an immigration status, they are in the workforce already, contributing significantly and accounted for in our population projections. Legalization will not increase immigration; it will simply provide security and expanded opportunity for those already here. Meanwhile, improving and expanding lawful immigration channels will reduce incentives for unauthorized immigration while also protecting the benefits of immigration for future generations.
Why do restrictionists want a smaller, poorer, and weaker America? Why do they want to sacrifice this tremendous American competitive advantage, to cede the global stage to other countries? What solution do they offer for the serious demographic and economic challenges that lie ahead?
The true answer is that they have no fact-based solutions. But there are a number of simple and bipartisan steps Congress can take to actually increase, not decrease, immigration. No matter the path Congress takes, it must reject the proposals of immigration restrictionists that sacrifice our competitive advantage. Instead, Congress must embrace immigration and expand the system to meet our needs and guarantee our economic prosperity.