Art Ortega |Staff Writer|
CSUSB students and instructors called for a nationwide event to bring awareness to immigration reform as part of the National Higher Education Conversation on Friday, April 19 in the SMSU.
“It is estimated that comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for the nation’s undocumented workers, would help generate $1.5 trillion dollars in U.S. economic gains over the next 10 years,” said Tomás Morales, president of CSUSB.
“Immigration would also lead to an increase in consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the U.S. economy,” said Morales.
“Immigrants who gained citizenship under President Reagan’s 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act earned approximately 15 percent more after five years.”
These few critical facts show how immigration reform can indeed provide the U.S. economy with a serious boost.
Many immigrants coming to America leave their homes to live in an unfamiliar area with no promise of stability or work.
It’s this type of risk taking that happens to be one of the main characteristics searched for in an ideal entrepreneur, according to Morales.
“Immigrant entrepreneurs’ businesses are the engines to the U.S. economy,” said Morales.
A number of other panelists also voiced their opinions during the discussion.
Dr. John Husing, chief economist of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, provided insight of his own.
“There are three main reasons we should all be for immigration reform. First, there is a lot of work Americans just don’t want to do,” began Husing.
“Second, undocumented workers are quite frankly the hardest working employees,” continued Husing.
“Third, there is a need for highly educated workers, many of which we are training and sending back home,” said Husing.
Student Kristen Ramos resonated with Husing’s appreciation of immigrants and commented on the diversity immigrants bring to the US.
“Diversity has been a great benefit to me, probably more than books,” she said. “I’ve learned so much from other people, and I pride myself on the diversity of this campus.”
Ramos, who is a psychology major, spoke on the negative psychological impacts that can occur among students who are undocumented.
“The students are being stigmatized. They blame themselves creating intra-personal conflict along with decreased self-worth, despite external factors,” concluded Ramos.
One of the issues discussed shed light on undocumented students who struggle with the laws of the public education system.
According to the forum, children of undocumented immigrants are allowed to participate in the school programs and receive an education all the way until the 12th grade.
Once they turn 18 however, the law no longer protects them.
Many of the undocumented are denied a college-level education because they are not eligible for loans, despite what their economic status may be, according to an article on natlawreview.com, written by Lloydan A. Wade.
Wade writes that the immigration system does a great injustice to illegal immigrants.
It is understood that the Immigration Reform is a long process, but bringing awareness to these issues, will allow America will be better informed to make an organized decision.