Path to cit­i­zen­ship is good for Amer­ica

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION -

Dear Editor, Il­le­gal im­mi­grants do not rep­re­sent an as­sault on our sovereignty. If that were true, it would be the first time in world his­tory that a coun­try em­ployed its in­vaders.

Ac­cord­ing to rep­utable econ­o­mists, a path to cit­i­zen­ship for over 11 mil­lion il­le­gal im­mi­grants would en­sure that our econ­omy would con­tinue to grow.

Vot­ers need to re­al­ize that im­mi­gra­tion re­form should be based upon the views of econ­o­mists and non­par­ti­san aca­demic re­searchers, and not par­ti­san pro­pa­gan­dists. Com­pre­hen­sive im­mi­gra­tion re­form would level the play­ing field so that Amer­i­can work­ers wouldn’t be taken ad­van­tage of, by un­doc­u­mented work­ers, who are be­ing ex­ploited by em­ploy­ers.

Mil­lions of un­doc­u­mented peo­ple are con­tribut­ing to our econ­omy and pay­ing $12 bil­lion a year into So­cial Se­cu­rity. By pass­ing im­mi­gra­tion re­form, our gov­ern­ment would stim­u­late new in­come, that would con­tinue to grow our econ­omy. The chief ac­tu­ary of the So­cial Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion re­ports that un­doc­u­mented work­ers con­trib­uted nearly $300 bil­lion to the So­cial Se­cu­rity Trust Fund.

Nobel Prize win­ning econ­o­mist Joseph Stiglitz noted: “Alexis de Toc­queville de­scribed what he saw as a chief part of the pe­cu­liar ge­nius of Amer­i­can so­ci­ety, some­thing he called ‘self-in­ter­est prop­erly un­der­stood.’ The last two words were the key. Everyone pos­sesses self­in­ter­est in a nar­row sense: I want what’s good for me right now! Self-in­ter­est ‘prop­erly un­der­stood’ is dif­fer­ent. It means ap­pre­ci­at­ing that pay­ing at­ten­tion to everyone else’s self-in­ter­est — in other words, the com­mon wel­fare — is in fact a pre­con­di­tion for one’s own ul­ti­mate well-be­ing. Toc­queville was not sug­gest­ing that there was any­thing noble or ide­al­is­tic about this out­look — in fact, he was sug­gest­ing the op­po­site. It was a mark of Amer­i­can prag­ma­tism. Those canny Amer­i­cans un­der­stood a ba­sic fact: look­ing out for the other guy isn’t just good for the soul — it’s good for busi­ness.”

Jim O’Leary Delhi

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