Debate Club

Obama's Immigration Policy Will Grow the Economy

By + More

The Obama administration's courageous decision to grant innocent, undocumented youth protection from deportation makes good sense from a moral, economic, and political perspective. Here are five reasons why:

First, and most importantly, it is the right thing to do. These kids are blameless and a clear national consensus has emerged that they should be given the opportunity to earn the American Dream. This is why opponents of the president, excepting radical extremists like Rep. Steve King, have chosen to attack the legality of the action rather than the substance of the policy. Unfortunately for them, the president's legal authority to do this is irrefutable.

Second, it is smart law enforcement. Every administration has to make choices about how to deploy law enforcement resources. And it makes no sense to focus resources on individuals who everyone agrees are in violation of the law through no fault of their own. So temporarily taking these kids out of the enforcement matrix until Congress can fulfill its responsibilities allows the enforcement agencies to better focus on removing those who actually pose a threat.

[See a collection of political cartoons on immigration.]

Third, it makes obvious fiscal sense. America has already invested in these kids by educating them through high school. It makes no sense to deny the country a return on that investment by preventing them from giving back as productive, contributing Americans. Enabling them to pursue higher education and work lawfully means they will earn more and pay taxes on what they've earned.

Fourth, it will generate economic growth. Keeping these kids on the margins of society is economically self-defeating. If they cannot work lawfully, they can't earn money, which means their ability to buy goods and services is diminished, thereby contributing to an overall drag on the economy. Enabling them to work will allow them to contribute their skills, start businesses, and pay taxes.

Fifth, it provides clarity to an important group of voters. Former Gov. Mitt Romney ran one of the most extreme anti-immigrant primary campaigns for a leading candidate in memory. He vowed to veto the DREAM Act and pursue a national self-deportation policy. Couple that with the fact that his party has blocked progressive immigration reforms for the last decade and it is clear where he stands on the issue. But the president's tough immigration enforcement record was giving some Hispanic voters pause about his commitment to reform. Last week's bold step to protect innocent youth, however, provides clarity about where he stands. There is no longer any question about where the candidates stand on an issue of deep personal importance to the Hispanic electorate.

Marshall Fitz

About Marshall Fitz Director of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress

Tags
immigration reform
DREAM Act
Obama, Barack

Other Arguments

#1
2,930 Pts
Obama Policy Is Positive Step, But Could Delay Real Reform

Yes – Obama Policy Is Positive Step, But Could Delay Real Reform

Alex Nowrasteh Immigration Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute

#2
2,840 Pts
Obama's Executive Order Is Good News, But Not the Solution
#4
-2,920 Pts
White House Lacks Authority to Implement Immigration Laws That Congress Won't

No – White House Lacks Authority to Implement Immigration Laws That Congress Won't

Matthew Spalding Director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at the Heritage Foundation

#5
-3,003 Pts
Obama is Using Latinos As Pawns in His Game of Political Chess

No – Obama is Using Latinos As Pawns in His Game of Political Chess

Luis Alvarado Political Analyst for CNN Español and Telemundo

#6
-3,044 Pts
President Obama's Immigration Policy Is Unconstitutional
#7
-4,499 Pts
Presidents Can't Rule by Decree

No – Presidents Can't Rule by Decree

Mark Krikorian Author of 'The New Case Against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal' and 'How Obama is Transforming America Through Immigration'

#8
-4,944 Pts
Work Permits for Young Immigrants Steal Jobs From Americans

No – Work Permits for Young Immigrants Steal Jobs From Americans

Roy Beck Founder and President of NumbersUSA

You Might Also Like


See More