As the story goes, Franklin Roosevelt spent a good portion of his time as president during the midst of the Great Depression searching for a one-armed economist.
This search was driven by the fact that, whenever he would ask one of his economists how to solve the depression, they would give him an answer and then say: “Of course, on the other hand …” and give the exactly opposite suggestion.
Thus when more than two economists agree, it’s big news. So when 1,470 economists agree on something, it must be important. What have these Nobel laureates, former high level policy advisers, and academics agreed on?
“We view the benefits of immigration as myriad:
- Immigration brings entrepreneurs who start new businesses that hire American workers.
- Immigration brings young workers who help offset the large-scale retirement of baby boomers.
- Immigration brings diverse skill sets that keep our workforce flexible, help companies grow, and increase the productivity of American workers.
- Immigrants are far more likely to work in innovative, job-creating fields, such as science, technology, engineering, and math, that create life-improving products and drive economic growth.
Immigration undoubtedly has economic costs as well, particularly for Americans in certain industries and Americans with lower levels of educational attainment. But the benefits that immigration brings to society far outweigh their costs, and smart immigration policy could better maximize the benefits of immigration while reducing the costs.
We urge Congress to modernize our immigration system in a way that maximizes the opportunity immigration can bring, and reaffirms continuing the rich history of welcoming immigrants to the United States.”
Clackamas County is an excellent example of all four of these observations. We have numerous Latino-owned companies, a large contingent of students readying to enter the workforce, thousands of hard-working Latino workers already contributing, and growing numbers of immigrants in our various high technology sectors.
Of course, agriculture is a prime Clackamas County industry, and the county has for decades relied on the skills of migrant labor to plant, cultivate, and harvest our agricultural products. Without migrants, Clackamas County would indeed be a much poorer place.