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Mr. President, We Really, Really Need Immigration Reform!

As the Republican majority in Congress drags its feet on immigration reform, publications around the US are voicing their views on the matter. Both The New York Times and The Economistlast week published articles requesting President Obama to take action, and to pass immigration reform as soon as possible to solve, once and for all, the situation of the more than 11 million undocumented workers in this country.

In last Sunday's Review, The Editorial Board of the New York Times wrote: "Mr. Obama, Your Move", openly criticizing the negativitiy of some Republicans such as Senator Jeff Sessions and Representative Steve King, for whom "the right number of unauthorized immigrants to welcome is zero; the right time is never".

"They would let the system rot in place, to maintain the fiction that the country can deport its way to lawfulness. Their dishonesty is repellent..." continued the Editorial Board.

The Economist Magazine, one of the most respectable publications in the United States, published the article "The Threat to the Rule of Law" last week stating that "A common problem is when the state maintains laws on the books that are out of sync with social reality...[and that]"...Polls consistently show that large majorities would rather offer them [undocumented workers] a way to stay, typically by two-to-one margins.

So, where does Congress's xenophobic attitude come from?

Immigration Reform is the responsibility of everyone in office, not just of President Obama. Still, Congress has simply ignored the fact that, to begin with, this is a country of immigrants, that precisely the younger generations of those immigrants will be paying for the social security benefits that Baby Boomers are going to expect in the near future, and that the economic future of many states (such as Michigan) relies on immigration.

"Immigration and economic development -- they go hand in hand," explained Gov. Snyder as he addressed the audience at the Detroit Athletic Club earlier this year.

According to the Immigration Policy Center, immigrant entrepreneurs are today responsible for boosting US economy. Between 2006 and 2010, there were almost 4,000 new immigrant business owners in the State of Nebraska alone (who would have imagined!), and in Michigan, where there are over 600,000 immigrants, 30,000 new businesses were established, representing 10.4% of all net business income in the state, during the same period.

The American Immigration Council of IPC explained that "High-skilled immigrant workers contribute to the success of many Michigan-based companies and institutions with a significant presence in the state...An expansionof the high-skilled visa program would create an estimated 14,100 new jobs in Michigan by 2020. By 2045, this expansion would add around $3.9 billion to Gross State Product and increase personal income by more than $3.8 billion".

These are vital facts, not mere opinions based on personal dislikes or partisan interests, that can help the public understand about the effect of immigration on everyone's economy.

So, will President Obama take action, or will a group of xenophobic individuals be allowed to continue to adversely affect the United States' economy through their inaction and outmoded conservatism.

This is 21st Century America, and the rules of the game have changed.

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