LatinaLista — News that President Obama plans to address immigration reform as early as May has been met with the expected responses — happiness and dread.
Happiness by most Hispanic groups and advocates that finally Obama is making good on the promise that attracted so many Latino voters to his side.
Dread by the opposition who know that it’s not going to be so easy this time to make it go away. Already, the opposition is mobilizing and trying to subvert Obama’s announcement by saying that it’s a terrible time to address immigration when the economy is so bad.
Yet, that is exactly why there’s no better time than the present to deal with immigration reform.
Undocumented immigrants, who comprise about 5 percent of the labor force in this country, expand the pool of labor. In turn, their work helps create more products and services to fill demand and boost the economy.
It’s the kind of stimulus that is natural and desirable.
And undocumented immigrants contribute in other ways too:
Since they pay payroll taxes, they’re helping to bankroll Social Security and Medicare but won’t get to participate in the programs because of their immigration status.
“From our standpoint, this is not a top fiscal issue,” said Pete Sepp,spokesman for the National Taxpayers Union.
Experts note that illegal immigrants also spend part of their paychecks in this country — for food, clothes, furniture, living expenses and other things — all of which contribute to economic growth.
And growing the economy is the best way to address the current economic crisis, isn’t it?