There has been much controversy in the fight to allow undocumented immigrants to work in the U.S. At the beginning of the new year, more than a dozen Republicans in the House demanded President Barack Obama shift his focus from immigration reform and granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants to the plight of unemployed American workers. These legislators argue that allowing undocumented immigrants to work legally in the U.S. will take jobs away from the more than 21 million American citizens that are currently looking for work, but opponents believe inviting immigrants into the workforce will strengthen America’s economy.
Granting green cards will help immigrants find jobs
The immigration bill currently in the Senate proposes allowing more guest workers into the U.S. and adding more immigrant workers to the job force through the help of green cards. Providing more than 30 million immigrants with permanent residency would triple the standard green card rate. House Republicans have stated in letters to the President that because most of the immigrants invited to work legally in the U.S. would be low-skill workers, a decline in American workers’ wages would be sparked and employment prospects would decline. These views are in opposition to House Speaker John Boehner’s work to secure amnesty for undocumented immigrants, which has the added support from the Chamber of Commerce.
Organizations work to welcome immigrants
There are many organizations that support the push towards inviting immigrants into the workplace, however. One such community of supporters calls themselves Welcoming America. This organization has chosen to focus on areas without a long history of immigration, like cities including Omaha, Neb., Nashville, Tenn., and Boise, Idaho, and dispelling any misunderstandings the citizens there may have about immigration. Welcoming America works with American-born citizens to help them understand and appreciate immigrant newcomers, and acts as a voice supporting immigrants’ need for skilled jobs. This group attests that states and cities will benefit from the taxes that immigrant workers would pay, which is a positive reason for new companies looking to expand to the cities that welcome immigrants to work there.