Klobuchar says comprehensive immigration reform is critical to moving economy forward

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NEWS RELEASE — Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), vice chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), today (Tuesday, May 7) held the first of a two-part hearing to examine the economic impact of immigration in America.

Klobuchar emphasized the important role immigrants play in a broad range of industries, from high-tech manufacturing to farming and agriculture, and called for swift action to pass comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar invited Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, and Dr. Adriana Kugler, a professor at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute, to testify at today’s hearing.

During the hearing, Norquist underscored the positive economic impact immigration reform would have on the economy and argued that reform would reduce, rather than increase, the deficit.

“Immigration is a powerful economic engine that boosts innovation and strengthens critical industries from agriculture to high-tech manufacturing,” Klobuchar said. “The fact that we have everyone from Grover Norquist to labor unions advocating for immigration reform underscores its importance and I will continue to push for smart, comprehensive policies that secure our border, bolster our economy and promote opportunity for both businesses and families.”

In his testimony, Norquist argued that by bringing millions of workers out of the shadows, giving them access to greater employment opportunities and requiring them to pay taxes, comprehensive immigration reform would spur economic growth.

Norquist cited an estimate made by economist and former Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin that immigration reform could reduce the budget deficit by $2.7 trillion over ten years. Norquist also warned that repeating the mistakes of countries with closed border policies could lead to an economic contraction like the one experienced in Japan, and likened the argument against immigration to arguments against higher birth rates.

As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Klobuchar has played a key role in advancing bipartisan legislation to reform the U.S. immigration system.

The comprehensive immigration legislation being considered in the Senate includes provisions similar Klobuchar’s Immigration Innovation Act, which reforms the employment-based green card and H-1B visa systems to meet the demands of the high-tech economy.

The bill also includes Klobuchar’s legislation to boost the number of doctors able to work in America. The provision would allow international doctors to remain in the United States if they practice in underserved areas and rural communities.


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