New York Times Editorial Calls for Immigration Reform this Year23 Jan 2010
Less than a week into the new year, the New York Times editorial page called for enactment of comprehensive immigration reform in 2010. (See: Immigration’s New Year, Editorial, New York Times, January 6, 2010.) Two recent developments augur well for an immigration overhaul in the new year, according to the Times: Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s inauguration speech, promising his support for passage of CIR in this difficult election year, and the march on Washington by four young students from Miami who are seeking to raise support for a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants. According to the Times, three of the students were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, and by going public with their protest, they face arrest and deportation.
According to the NYT editorial board, despite the deep economic recession, we need to heed the calls from both ends of the power structure – from powerful insiders like Mayor Bloomberg to disenfranchised outsiders like the Miami students – and get CIR done this year. Like the recent UCLA report on the economic benefits of CIR, the Times editorial recognizes that we can’t afford not to do this, arguing that “[w]hen the recovery comes, the country will need a functioning system more than ever – one that encourages legal entry and bolsters all workers’ rights.” As the Times piece correctly points out, CIR will not add people to the workforce, but merely bring the masses of undocumented workers into the light, where they will no longer be ripe for “low pay and abuse from lawbreaking employers who prefer them to American workers.” Legalizing the undocumented means new Americans who will earn more, spend more, and pay more taxes.
The editorial concludes with a wonderful quote from Mayor Bloomberg: “No city on earth has been more rewarded by immigrant labor, more renewed by immigrant ideas, more revitalized by immigrant culture.” As the NYT points out, the quote is equally true if you substitute “country” for “city.” This is sure to be an uphill battle, but it is eminently worth the climb.