By Susan M. Thornton, Co-Chair, Immigrant Pathways Colorado
Writing in the Colorado Sun (January 8, 2023), Diane Carmen made a compelling case for modernizing America’s “underfunded, outdated and nonfunctional” immigration system.
The system is failing immigrants, she wrote, at a time when our country has a historic workforce shortage, an aging population, declining birthrates and a humanitarian crisis on our southern border. The last time the system was updated was during the Reagan administration (1986), and the update made it a criminal offense to hire a person who is undocumented.
Canada could provide a good example for the U.S. in dealing with immigrants, she pointed out. It is budgeting $50 million to upgrade its immigration system, and estimates that already immigrants make up for nearly all of its workforce growth, with 36 percent of physicians and 41 percent of its engineers now coming from other countries.
World-wide, the problem is getting worse. The United Nations states that 100 million people were forcibly displaced in the first five months of 2022, up from 89.3 million in all of 2021.
The Pew Charitable Trust has conducted a survey showing that 72 percent of Americans support increased refugee resettlement in the U.S.
So why isn’t Congress acting?