Thursday, May 23, 2024

Center for American Progress Hosts Expert Panel to Discuss Immigration Reform

On Thursday, January 21, the Center for American Progress hosted a panel of experts to discuss the importance of passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill.  President Obama and his administration have repeatedly promised to prioritize the overhauling of U.S. immigration policy, and it was this promise of comprehensive immigration reform that led many Latino voters to support candidate Obama during the 2008 elections.  As the fastest growing voting demographic, Latinos are credited with having flipped four states for the Democrats, and there is no reason to believe that Latinos will not continue to increase their electoral clout in the election cycles to come.

According to Markos Moulitsas, founder and editor of the Daily Kos, “the Latino vote has been the difference in many elections in the last several cycles. In order to be politically viable, both Democrats and Republicans will have to deliver on immigration reform, or face losing those constituencies”.

What distinguishes comprehensive immigration reform from other high-profile legislation is that it draws support from a wide range of political points of view; opinion polls have shown strong support for reform from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike.  The push for immigration reform is driven by humanitarian conscience as well as economic potential.

Andrea Nill, an immigration expert with Think Progress, noted that passing immigration reform would create 700,000 jobs and add $1.5 trillion in additional Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years.  While addressing the challenge of promoting immigration reform when so many Americans are focused on jobs, María Elena Durazno, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, said that “immigration reform is about jobs. Immigrants are already essential workers in our economy.”