We're Losing on Immigration; We Need More

David Brooks says the economic case is impossible to refute

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 1, 2013 1:50 PM CST

(Newser) – In a world of difficult issues, immigration is a blessedly simple one, writes David Brooks of the New York Times. "The forlorn pundit doesn’t even have to make the humanitarian case that immigration reform would be a great victory for human dignity. The cold economic case by itself is so strong." Immigrants are 30% more likely to start a business than native-born Americans, and studies show that in most cases, their presence actually pushes overall American wages higher.

Indeed, immigration is so economically beneficial that "most nations are competing in the global talent race," Brooks points out. "The United States is losing this competition." For all our Ellis Island pride, we're lagging behind countries like Canada and Australia both in the number of immigrants we let in and how educated those immigrants are. If we can't pass reform on an issue this clear-cut, "then we really are a pathetic basket case of a nation." Read his full column here.

Members of the DREAM Team LA, a Los Angeles immigrants rights group, watch a live C-Span video stream of President Barack Obama in LA, Jan. 29, 2013.
Members of the DREAM Team LA, a Los Angeles immigrants rights group, watch a live C-Span video stream of President Barack Obama in LA, Jan. 29, 2013.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Immigration activists hold signs as they protest in front of Freedom Tower in downtown Miami, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013.
Immigration activists hold signs as they protest in front of Freedom Tower in downtown Miami, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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