Today, the Council on Foreign Relations, one of the oldest and most respected non-partisan foreign policy think tanks in America, issued a sweeping report on U.S. immigration policy. Developed by an independent task force comprised of bi-partisan leaders, including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Thomas “Mack” McLarty, the report finds that the passage of comprehensive immigration reform is vital to the national interests of the United States.
The report offers a number of specific recommendations to reform current policy, but most notably insists that the time is now to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Failure to move on immigration, argues the task force, threatens the long-term prosperity and security of the United States:
The continued failure to devise and implement a sound and sustainable immigration policy threatens to weaken America’s economy, to jeopardize its diplomacy, and to imperil its national security.
During a roll-out of the report this morning, Task Force members McLarty and the Rev. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention spoke eloquently on the importance of “getting our immigration policy right.” The Task Force concluded that “Immigration should be seen as one of America’s greatest success stories.” And McLarty argued that sound immigration policy was critical to building a strong and vibrant economy that is competitive and commands the kind of respect necessary to remain a world leader. The group concluded:
In the global competition to attract highly talented immigrants, the United States must ensure that it remains the destination of first choice. America’s long-term security depends on maintaining its place as a world leader in science and technology.
Rev. Land added that our diplomatic standing in the world was also imperiled by our failure to resolve immigration in a humane and just way. He reiterated that immigration reform was important to the “future national security and economic growth” of the U.S. and that how we handle immigration also reflects who we are as a nation—and the values we show the world.
The Task Force report—all 165 pages of it—needs to be analyzed and debated and the recommendations sifted and winnowed. The fact that the Council on Foreign Relations felt compelled to enter the immigration debate, however, is yet another indicator of the importance of immigration reform to our future as a country. McLarty summed it up well when he told the audience that we know what the right answer is—there just has to be the political will to get it done.
FILED UNDER: undocumented immigration