Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, said illegal immigration makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy. He told a Senate subcommittee last week that an overhaul of immigration laws is "badly needed" to create legal avenues for skilled and unskilled illegal immigrants to enter the country. Here is what he had to say:
There is little doubt that unauthorized, that is, illegal immigration has made a significant contribution to the growth of our economy. Between 2000 and 2007, for example, it accounted for more than a sixth of the increase in our total civilian labor force.Former U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo, a Republican from Colorado, called President Barack Obama a “cult leader” when talking about his immigration plan. Speaking on the conservative news radio program “Dateline: Washington,” Tancredo said Obama is trying to dress up a plan that amounts to "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. Here is an excerpt.
Some evidence suggests that unskilled illegal immigrants, almost all from Latin America, marginally suppress wage levels of native-born Americans without a high school diploma, and impose significant costs on some state and local governments.
However the estimated wage suppression and fiscal costs are relatively small and economists generally view the overall economic benefits of this workforce as significantly outweighing the costs.
He is — you have to admit — he is a cult leader. And the cult will go with him wherever he wants to go. You just don't know about the size of the cult; how big it is — if it's shrinking or growing.Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, says she supports a federal bill that would give illegal immigrants a path to legal residency if they complete two years of college or military service. Responding to a question about the so-called Dream Act, Napolitano had this to say at last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
As a governor of a border state, this is one of those areas where everyone wants the immigration law enforced. We must enforce it. It's part of our national sovereignty, among other things.
On the other hand, we have to have the ability to deal with some of the human issues that arise here. And the one that you have identified is one of the most acute. I supported the Dream Act when I was governor. I support it now. One of the most moving things I've been privileged to do as secretary is to administer the Oath of Citizenship to men and women in our military who have been serving in Iraq, who were not citizens, who have elected to become citizens -- in a way, kind of mirrors what you're talking about in the Dream Act. But it seems to me that the Dream Act is -- is a good piece of legislation and a good idea.