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Migration is the opportunity at the border

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Migration acts as a powerful engine for the U.S. economy. Immigrants fill crucial labor shortages, from healthcare and construction to tech and agriculture. This ensures businesses run smoothly, fostering economic growth.

Furthermore, immigrants are more likely to start businesses, bringing fresh ideas and fostering innovation. Their diverse skillsets enrich the workforce, leading to groundbreaking solutions across industries.

Work permits play a vital role in maximizing these economic benefits, especially for mixed-status families. These families often have one undocumented parent and children who are U.S. citizens. Without a work permit, the undocumented parent may be forced into the underground economy, with lower wages and no protections.

A work permit allows them to contribute their skills legally, increasing tax revenue and boosting consumer spending. Studies show immigrants, regardless of skill level, are net tax contributors, meaning they pay more in taxes than they use in social services. Additionally, their wages rise, improving their families' standard of living and overall economic participation.

When undocumented parents can work legally, they contribute to a stronger, more cohesive society. Their children, who are U.S. citizens, benefit from financial stability and a positive role model. This fosters a sense of belonging and encourages future generations to contribute meaningfully to the American story.

Work permits, especially for mixed-status families, could unlock the full potential of economic contribution. By allowing undocumented parents to work legally, the U.S. strengthens its economic engine, fosters social integration, and paves the way for future generations to thrive.

Juan Carlos Cerda is the Texas State Director for the American Business Immigration Coalition.

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org.

*This interview will be recorded on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi