The Washington Post recently published an opinion column on The value of Immigrants by Bruce A. Morrison, who is the principal author of the Immigration Act of 1990 and the Chairman of the Morrison Public Affairs Group (MPAG), the advocacy firm representing the interests of high-skilled immigrants in Congress.
The April 30 editorial “A clarion call for immigration” rightly sounded a long-overdue charge — but in which direction? As the principal House author of the Immigration Act of 1990, the last permanent increase in legal immigration, I’d like to make two points. Be clear what “immigration” means: green cards, not guest worker visas. Immigration means legal permanent residency, not indefinitely temporary authorization to work.
The past 30 years of increased legal immigration from all over the world has been good for the United States. For example, since 1990, we have had more family- and employer-sponsored immigration from Africa than in the entire 200 years of prior U.S. history. Beware of the pressure to pretend immigration means more people with fewer rights. Exploitable people suffer and make the job market worse for everybody.
Immigration is about more than numbers. It is about who we are, as a nation, and what we want to become, as a people: E pluribus unum. Citizenship is the goal.Bruce A. Morrison, Bethesda
The writer, a Democrat who represented Connecticut in the House from 1983 to 1991, was chairman of the House subcommittee on immigration and claims from 1989 to 1991. He provides lobbying representation