LatinaLista — For too long the issue of immigration, illegal or otherwise, has been the catalyst that pits conservatives against liberals. Yet a new report warns that people need to get over their hang-ups about the whole issue of immigration and start facing a reality that is going to bring with it three new crisis that this country has never before faced.
The Reform Institute released a report today by demographer Dowell Myers titled Old Promises and New Blood: How Immigration Reform Can Help America Prosper in the Face of Baby Boomer Retirement .
The report outlines how the Baby Boomer generation dominates the current electorate and how its retirement over the next ten years will severely impact three precise areas and produce a crisis in each of them: An Entitlement Crisis â€” more retirees means greater demands on Social Security and Medicare; Workforce Crisis â€” more retirees means more open positions but there won’t be enough of the younger generation to fill them; Home Sellers Crisis â€” more Baby Boomers downsizing means more homes on the market but a smaller-size younger generation won’t be able to absorb all the homes for sale which will lead to an unstable housing market.
While the report goes on explaining how immigrants and their children will be able to fill the gaps and basically ease these inevitable crisis, it also reveals that the issue of immigration is looked at in such a wrong way by politicians, policy makers, pundits and extreme conservatives that instead of planning for the future success of this country, these people are laying the groundwork for significantly weakening it.
The author of the report points out that there exists a term known as the Peter Pan fallacy. It’s the erroneous belief that immigrants never assimilate, never grow older or advance economically. Because of this perception, immigrants are seen as forever being burdens on society when that’s not the case.
We have ample proof that immigrants do advance, when US law lets them. And when they do, they become home owners, their children attain college degrees and they pay into Social Security and Medicaid while also contributing to their local economy through volunteerism and their buying power.
The narrow viewpoint held by politicians and policy makers on immigration has real and serious implications.
The aging of our society, as expressed by the ballooning senior ratio and the impending retirement of the baby boomers, represents a singular event with severe implications for long- term economic growth and prosperity. Immigration will play a critical role as we seek to confront this epic challenge.
The next president and congress will have to deal with immigration reform and the retirement of the baby boomers. In order to deal effectively with both they must not be viewed separately. As policy makers address fixing our broken immigration system, they must be cognizant of the perils presented by the retirement of the boomers and the vital role of a rational and forward-looking immigration policy for mitigating these threats and making America more resilient.
We don’t need a crystal ball to see what the future holds for us. We need leaders and a citizenry with common sense, not colored by irrational fear or prejudice.
And we need a new way of asking a very important question about immigration: