Friday, January 10, 2014

3 reasons the GOP should make 2014 the year of sensible Immigration Reform

Let's be clear, Republicans cannot sustain their pro-business/individual freedom narrative and also oppose immigration reform. From doctors (who could alleviate endemic primary care shortages) to entrepreneurs (who could benefit economically deprived communities), current immigration regulations deter opportunity and defy logic. We're losing out on desperately needed foreign investment and talent. Sensible immigration reform in this area (expanding talent-pool green cards) would help make our economy stronger, our country healthier and would also reduce our debt. In basic terms, it's a no-brainer.

Immigration reform will also be a necessity if the GOP is to successfully challenge Democrats on the growing social mobility debate (specifically, on issues like the minimum wage, taxation and inner city deprivation). If Republicans were to endorse reform, they'd have the opportunity to win a new generation of voters who aspire to an 'opportunity culture' - one in which hard work is rewarded with social mobility.

In a final sense, the GOP needs to embrace immigration reform in order to prove that it's evolving as a party. Facing demographic certainties, the GOP has no other option but to widen its appeal. Thus, both in a symbolic and policy sense, the party needs to situate its traditional beliefs (small government/low taxes etc.) in a foundation that's viable for the 21st century.

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