U.S. Chamber Releases Report Analyzing Problems with America’s Broken Immigration System

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - 12:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today released a report entitled, “Restructuring the U.S. Immigration System to Increase Security and Promote Economic Growth,” analyzing in detail the problems with America’s broken immigration system.

“Immigration policy needs to be reformed to meet the needs of our country,” said Randy Johnson, senior vice president of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits for the U.S. Chamber. “It should include changes that will increase the nation’s security and improve the use of immigration as a tool to promote economic growth.”  

The Chamber has long advocated for congressional action on the interlocking pieces that make up a revised U.S. immigration system. The report provides a detailed appraisal of each big picture area of reform as it relates to security, the economy, or both, creating a resource on the complexities and misconceptions that have plagued the debate for some time.  

Most misleading among the reasons that policymakers offer as to why they have not yet reformed our immigration system is the contention that pursuing immigration reform will somehow reduce public safety. The Chamber’s report analyzes this misconception and explains how lawmakers can improve our immigration system, both by addressing specific border and immigration control challenges through practical reforms with concrete results and by providing enhanced avenues for legal immigration. 

“The immigration reforms outlined by the Chamber will significantly improve the effectiveness of our national security and public safety agencies,” said Tom Ridge, the first U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Pennsylvania. “Without reform, we continue unfairly and unnecessarily to complicate the daily work of those committed to keeping us safe.”

Equally important, the paper analyzes the claims of detractors that rely on simplistic calculations of “supply and demand” to suggest that immigration is bad for the economic health of Americans and the United States as a whole. This report shows that immigrants do not undermine U.S. wage growth or job growth – instead they play a key role in improving both in the long term.

“A strong economy is the foundation of future prosperity and national security,” said Doug Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and former director of the Congressional Budget Office. “America has a proud history of welcoming immigrants and benefitting from their efforts and innovations. A well-designed immigration reform can deliver similar benefits once again; raising wages, accelerating growth in the standard of living, and improving the ability of our firms to compete in a global marketplace.” 

The Chamber’s report can be viewed here

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.