The debate on irregular immigration
The Biden administration’s proposals when it comes to the immigration system have sparked a wave of controversy among members of Congress and the American public. This is mainly because immigration ideals of President Joe Biden are quite welcoming and completely contradict the opinion of former President Donald Trump, which could drastically change the course of immigration in the future.
In fact, one of the main goals of the Biden administration is to create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in the US through an immigration bill, which is already under congressional review.
President Biden assures that undocumented immigrants are, in their vast majority, essential workers who drive the economy and contribute to the development and growth of the local market and, therefore, should have the possibility to apply for legal residence permits and eventually citizenship as long as they meet mandatory requirements, such as paying annual taxes and passing background checks.
Since Congress must approve this proposal before it goes into effect, the growing debate around illegal immigration and citizenship for millions of undocumented foreigners is drawing most of the public’s attention, potentially affecting other sectors of the immigration system that are also essential to the economy.
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The legal immigration system is the linchpin for the economy
According to the opinion of several experts, critics, and specialists, legal immigration programs are fundamental for the growth of the economy during the next decades, and the fact that the government is focusing mainly on irregular immigration affects the legal immigration system, which should have all the attention so that the American population understands its impact on the economy and the need to attract talent from abroad.
In fact, population estimates from the US Census Bureau reveal that the population growth figure for the past decade (2010-2020) is the lowest in the history of the Census, which began in 1790. Thus, a low birth rate could represent a gigantic gap over the next few years or even decades between working-age people, who constantly stimulate the economy and pay taxes, and senior citizens who need social benefits, which would not be available without a well-structured local workforce.
What is the role of immigration in all this? Well, the legal immigration system and visa programs for international students and highly skilled foreign workers could be the lynchpin to counteract the economic repercussions generated by the low population growth of the last decade.
Supporting this idea, the president of the National Immigration Forum recently stated that “Without immigration it becomes increasingly impossible to sustain entitlements, much less a functioning health care system, or a local tax base in rural and suburban cities and communities across the country.”
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