March 9, 2021
Dreamers and Pro-Growth Immigration Reform
Senators Durbin and Graham recently reintroduced the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children, a group known as “Dreamers.” In an op-ed for The Hill, AAF President Douglas Holtz-Eakin argues that normalizing the status of Dreamers, while important, should be only the first step in a pro-growth immigration reform.
Conservatives should insist that the core visa system be infused with a pro-growth vision to create a globally competitive 21st century workforce. Immigrants already have a higher workforce participation rate when compared to native-born Americans.
They’re also more likely to start a business. In fact, almost 20 percent of all self-employed workers in the United States are foreign-born. Diverse skill sets and talents from around the world have spawned innovation and created jobs in the United States for years, despite the fact that under 10 percent of visas are awarded based on economic criteria. Imagine the impact of making economics more central to the decision to award an immigrant visa.