Trains and boats and planes

Those who are unquestionably opposed to immigration are against what made America the greatest country and economic power in the world. The United States is the world’s grand experiment. We are the first Democracy to achieve super power status without a common gene pool. All of our ancestors arrived here boat, plane and land bridge. Although I have historically respected the opinion of Lou Dobbs, his stance on immigration is not in this nation’s best interest. Those who work to shut the doors of immigration, do so without regard to our future economic growth and prosperity.

According to the Wall Street Journal article “Some States Seek Integration Path for Immigrants” by Miriam Jordan, “The U.S. has absorbed a record number of immigrants since 1990, mainly from Latin America, Asia and Africa. The country is now home to about 38 million legal immigrants and 12 million undocumented immigrants. An additional 31 million people are children of immigrants.”

The Federation For American Immigration Reform reports that King County has 268,00 immigrants which make up 15% of our population.

Is immigration good for the economy? The Federal government thinks so. President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors issued a 2007 report that concluded, “Our review of economic research finds immigrants not only help fuel the Nation’s economic growth, but also have an overall positive effect on the income of native-born workers.” The Federal Reserve Board in Dallas, TX concluded the pace of recent U.S. economic growth would have been impossible without immigration.

The National Academy of the Sciences also found that “Immigration produces substantial economic benefits for the United States as a whole…”

Bill Gates, the most successful businessman and philanthropist in history, also agrees with the Federal assessments on the benefits of immigration. One only needs to read his persuasive Washington Post Op-Ed “How to Keep America Competitive” .

Professor Gordon H. Hanson of the University of California, San Diego studied immigration through the lens of economics for the Council on Foreign Relations. The report, “The Economic Logic of Illegal Immigration,” concludes, “By focusing on the economic costs and benefits of legal and illegal immigration…stemming illegal immigration would likely lead to a net drain on the U.S. economy—a finding that calls into question many of the proposals to increase funding for border protection.”

The same positive economic growth can be said of illegal immigration. “Illegal workers: good for U.S. economy”.

The National Immigration Law Center also reported that the National Academy of Sciences found that tax payments generated by immigrants outweigh any costs associated with services used by immigrants. Undocumented immigrants contribute to the tax rolls and the Social Security Trust Fund. The U.S. Social Security Administration has estimated that undocumented immigrants contribute approximately $8.5 billion in Social Security and Medicare funds each year. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has determined that undocumented immigrants paid almost $50 billion in federal taxes from 1996 to 2003.

The Governors of the states cited in the Wall Street Journal article (including our own Governor Chris Gregoire) who encourage both increasing legal immigrants and providing pathways to citizenship for others, will insure their states are the winning economies of the 21st Century. The data is conclusive. It is time to stop arguing. In this globally competitive economy let us unabashedly embrace immigration as a gift to the next seven generations.

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