Folks, I just posted this as part of a comment on yesterday afternoon’s post about the immigration bill:
And yes, many of the folks coming across our southern border are uneducated and appallingly poor. Anything we manage to put together in terms of long-term plans (including partial integration) is really an investment in their children. And speaking of those children and young people — an infusion of young legal workers could potentially stabilize SS… A band-aid, yes, but something to think about in the wider view. We’re going to have to radically modify how we’re handling SS, but a transitory plan will work much better if there’s $ coming into it as my generation begins to retire.
There are so many facets to the immigration debate, but people are getting lost in the forest because they’re hung up on the illegal issues. In truth, the macro-economy / society will be dramatically affected by any solution, and this is an aspect about which I’ve heard no discussion.
Because such an enormous proportion of our population is aging, the Social Security system is broken and dying; it’s a pig in a python. We have to fix it, but we also need to have money flowing into it until changes can be made.
Whether Congress ultimately decides to give legal working status (and access to citizenship) to people here +5 or +10 years, the reality is that many of those are young families who would be able to contribute for years to come, giving us time to devise a new approach.
Leaving all the other pieces of the immigration debate aside, this strikes me as a powerful reason to integrate at least some proportion of people here illegally.