Monday, February 25, 2008

Robert Reich on the Future of Immigration

In January, Robert B. Reich, a co-founder of The American Prospect, a Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, and Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, wrote the following on the American Prospect website:

"DemagReichogues on the right and left are telling Americans our jobs are threatened, our social services overwhelmed, and their streets unsafe because of immigrants. Fear and prejudice are on the rise. According to a recent Pew survey, more than half of Hispanic adults in America today worry they or someone close to them could face deportation.

The fear-mongers won't compromise. Earlier this year, when Congress tried to enact a bipartisan bill that would better secure the borders and also try to regularize the plight of undocumented immigrants -- giving them a path to become regular citizens and avoid the constant fear of deportation -- the bill was killed by these agents of fear and intolerance.

Well, I have some news for these demagogues. If they think this country or this economy can succeed in coming decades without tens of millions of additional immigrants, they’re not thinking straight. The huge baby boom generation -- 77 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 -- will be retiring, and there aren’t nearly enough native-born Americans after them to keep this economy going, let alone keep money flowing into the boomers’ Social Security and Medicare trust funds. The graying of America means we need this new wave of immigrants." (emphasis added).


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