Many Texas State students would benefit from a comprehensive solution to help fix the nation’s immigration system by allowing undocumented residents to become legal, hold new jobs and stimulate the economy.
National and local immigration reform is necessary to replace the outdated and inefficient system. The current system costs the American economy billions in wasted resources, depressed wages and uncollected tax revenue, according to a Feb. 2, 2010 Huffington Post article. A comprehensive solution would help fix the problems, provide fuel for the economy and maintain the cultural legacy of the United States. Potentially, labor shortages in various job fields such as agriculture and farming would be met, and undocumented immigrants would gain legal status.
San Marcos as a whole would benefit from immigration reform, especially because of the city’s large Hispanic population overall. The university recently became recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution with a Hispanic enrollment of more than 25 percent. In addition, some residents or students and their relatives may be undocumented immigrants, and they deserve a chance to find jobs and get an education in America. The passage of comprehensive immigration reform in Congress should be important to residents and students alike.
Immigration is important to sustaining the economy and balancing the demand of workers. According to a Jan. 5 Dallas Morning News article, the United States gives low priority to employment-based immigration. By 2018, the demand for workers with advanced math and science degrees is estimated to outpace supply by 230,000 workers, according to statistics from the same article. Today, the agriculture and construction fields are facing labor shortages. If foreign-born, undocumented Texas State students are not given the full opportunity to apply their skills in the marketplace, the economy will suffer as a result. These students will essentially become undeveloped human capital. Undocumented students are legally allowed to attend public universities and receive financial aid in Texas, which is an important policy that must be maintained.
Immigration reform would also help the Texas economy. According to the same Dallas Morning News article, comprehensive reform would stimulate the state’s economy without increasing the deficit or using taxpayer money. The new system would lift the prospects of the state’s estimated 1.7 million undocumented immigrants through higher wages and new employment opportunities. The economy would grow as undocumented immigrants gain a legal status, pay taxes and participate in the formal market.
Furthermore, statistics from the same article indicate immigrants create 31 percent of new businesses in Texas while only making up 16 percent of the population. Reform could encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of Texas immigrants by providing a boost to the economy and adding new jobs for Texas State graduates. From new restaurants to health clinics, the new businesses could provide significant employment opportunities.
Former president George W. Bush even stated that the debate on immigration reform must be dealt with a “benevolent spirit” and to “keep in mind the contributions of immigrants,” according to a Dec. 4, 2012 Texas Tribune article. An important part of the national heritage is immigrants and their place in American society. The current immigration policy, which can separate families and keep millions of workers in the shadows, must be resolved.
Poll statistics in a Jan. 22 Huffington Post article indicated that a majority of voters of white, black and Latino backgrounds believe America is stronger when immigrants become legal and pay taxes. In turn, Texas State students should support an immigrant resolution that is morally upstanding and maintains the tradition of the nation.
Comprehensive immigration reform has economic benefits and would follow the traditional heritage of the United States as a whole. Texas State students must support a revamped policy and make sure to contact their elected officials to take a stand in favor of reform. Eager undocumented workers willing to come to the country, and those who have already immigrated should be given a fair chance.