President Obama spoke during a visit to Mexico of the “incredible opportunity” to create good jobs which could result from strengthening trade relations with Latin America and correcting problems in the immigration system, according to a report from The Hill.
Obama listed the good things a new bipartisan immigration reform bill would accomplish if passed:
- further increase security at U.S. borders
- hold employers accountable for hiring undocumented workers
- “provide a pathway to earned citizenship” for undocumented immigrants now living in the U.S.
- make legal immigration simpler and more appealing to skilled workers
The President expressed a belief that these changes would strengthen trade relations between the United States and Latin America and open new markets for U.S. goods, leading to an increase in American jobs.
Mexico is currently the second largest trading partner of the United States.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) estimates that the new immigration bill would significantly increase the number of workers paying Social Security taxes. Senator Marco Rubio requested the analysis from the SSA, and shared the information in response to concerns from some conservatives that the proposed immigration reform bill would be expensive. The analysis from the SSA suggests that, on the contrary, passage of the immigration reform bill would benefit the U.S. economy in a number of ways, including adding millions of workers to the rolls of those who pay Social Security. Other economic benefits of immigration reform have been posited by economists.
While much of the debate on the economic impact of immigration reform has been among economists and legislators, the American people have a much clearer position on the subject. A survey by Hart Research associates confirms earlier surveys showing that the majority of Americans favor immigration reform. When the main points of the current bipartisan bill were explained to respondents, they were more likely to favor it than before they heard the details.
However, a flood of amendments have been offered to the bill, a circumstance which may slow down or stall its passage. Many of these amendments deal with issues of what rights and responsibilities the new U.S. citizens would have.
As immigration reform nears, it is reasonable to ask whether full rights and responsibilities of citizenship for the millions of U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico will also be granted.
Watch or read President Obama’s address.
PUERTO RICO IS NOT PART OF ANY IMMIGRATION REFORM. WE DO NOT HAVE ANY IMMIGRATION PROPER. WE ARE ALL US CITIZENS BY BIRTH. SO, PR SITUATION MUST BE DEALT WITH SEPARATE FROM THE QUESTION OF ILLEGAL AND UNDOCUMENTED FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES
ANGEL L CASTRO