OUR OPINION: Obama should act on immigrants’ legal status

November 17th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

Maine has an immigration problem, but it’s not the one that you’ve been hearing about.

As the state with the oldest median age, we are heading into a demographic winter where the number of retirees will exceed the capacity of the working population to pay the bills. If left alone, according to a 2013 study by the Maine Chamber of Commerce, the ratio of working-age Mainers to retirees will be cut almost in half by 2025. That’s a trend that will smother economic development, impoverish the state government and create conflict as young and old fight over scarce resources.

The chamber estimates that we will need to add 65,000 working-age immigrants by the year 2020 to avoid further economic stagnation. Maine has an immigration problem, all right. We need more of it, and fast.

Unfortunately, immigration oversight is a federal responsibility, and fast is not how things get done at the federal level. Bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform has stalled in Congress, where Republican leadership in the House of Representatives has refused to even hold a vote on a bill that passed the Senate. House Republicans have further refused to send an alternate bill to the Senate. Instead, we’ve let the issue crystallize into a series of negative campaign ads that distort reality and make progress on the legislative level more unlikely.

TIME TO ACT

Congressional inaction has exacerbated a crisis. President Barack Obama has warned Republican leaders that if they don’t act, he will. They have not moved, so he should do whatever is within

Article source: http://www.centralmaine.com/2014/11/16/our-opinion-obama-should-act-on-immigrants-legal-status/

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