Immigration and the Economy

With the country's eyes turned towards the economy, the current mantra of "secure our borders" can no longer be the focus of our immigration policy. On saturday, CQ ran a great article focusing on immigration and the economy.

...regardless of who wins the White House, the next president will have to jump-start the debate on immigration beyond the tentative consensus on border enforcement each candidate now touts on the stump.

In part, that will involve addressing economic tensions already emerging in today's immigration debate. Even before the September credit meltdown, the immigration enforcement arms of the government were shifting their efforts away from the border per se and toward the "magnets" of illegal immigration -- workplaces that hire undocumented workers en masse.

Now, however, with the specter of a long-term economic downturn, this improvised workplace-driven consensus on immigration enforcement may not hold. As small-business credit seizes up and unemployment increases, going after businesses providing jobs -- no matter how poorly paid, underground or unsafe those jobs may be -- is not playing well among most constituencies...

It looks as though the next administration will have to shift the focus of immigration reform. Be sure to read the entire article - its lengthy but full of great info.