Fixing Our Broken Immigration System: The Economic Benefits of Providing a Path to Earned Citizenship   [open pdf - 570KB]

"Today, there are 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the shadow economy. At the same time, too many employers hire undocumented workers, undercutting businesses that play by the rules. Neither is good for the economy or the country. The bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (S. [Senate bill] 744) passed by the Senate is an opportunity for our country to finally fix its broken immigration system. This commonsense legislation, drafted and supported by both Democrats and Republicans, has four pillars: (1) continue to strengthen our borders; (2) crack down on companies that hire undocumented workers; (3) hold undocumented immigrants accountable before they can earn their citizenship by requiring them to pass background checks, pay penalties and their taxes, learn English, and go to the back of the line; and (4) streamline the legal immigration system for families, workers, and employers. A majority of Americans support a path to earned citizenship. However, some in Congress have suggested that immigration reform should provide only legal status, without any opportunity for those who are getting on the right side of the law to earn their way to citizenship. This 'legalization-only' approach violates a basic principle of our country: that anyone, no matter where they came from, can become an American citizen if they're willing to work for it and take on the responsibilities of citizenship. We cannot afford a system that creates a group which can never become fully American, denying equal rights to people who pay the same taxes and play by the same rules even after they've paid a penalty and gotten on the right side of the law."

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Listed on August 21, 2013 [Critical Releases]