While the House of Representatives has not passed an immigration reform bill, Speaker of the House John Boehner said that immigration reform would help boost to the nation’s economy. Boehner spoke at the American Enterprise Institute (a conservative think tank) on a plan to help America’s economy.
Boehner’s speech gave his “five points” for how America could reset its economic foundation. Although immigration reform wasn’t included in his five points, he later responded to a question about immigration reform and acknowledged that it could provide an economic benefit.
“I think immigration reform would help our economy, but you’ve got to secure the borders first. We’ve got a mess. And I think everybody knows we have a mess,” said Boehner. “Our legal system is broken. Our borders aren’t secure. And then we’ve got the problem of those that are here without documents. It needs to be fixed. We’re a nation of immigrants. The sooner we do it, the better off the country would be.”
Immigration reform has been a top political issue all year, but it was never acted upon in the House after the Senate passed a 2013 bipartisan immigration overhaul.
Although during this speech Boehner did not get into specifics on how immigration reform would help the economy, it is not a new topic for politicians. Obama has explained in previous speeches that immigration reform would mean that the United States would no longer lose out on talented immigrant workers, and that the wages of American workers would increase if we were to pass immigration reform. Skilled immigrants in the United States can actually result in a growth of both the number of available jobs and in the compensation of native-born citizens. Additionally, immigrants bring with them knowledge of world markets, entrepreneurial drive, and are also highly skilled and highly educated in the specific areas that our economy needs.