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Obama’s immigration plan fires up debate on jobs, economy

April 15, 2009 by  

Obama's immigration plan fires up debate on jobs, economyThe administration’s announcement regarding planned immigration reform is pitting supporters and critics once again in a debate about the impact of an amnesty on American economy and the job market.

President Obama revealed that the key component of his comprehensive immigration reform will center around putting the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants now living in the U.S. on the path to citizenship.

Predictably, the move has caused mixed reactions.

During an event hosted by the Immigration Policy Center, economic and labor experts discussed the benefits of bringing undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and creating a level playing field for all workers.

In their opinion, this will lead to better worker protection, higher salaries – by eliminating the "trap door" that artificially lowers wages – and spur economic growth.

However, many have expressed a different view.

"[While]Americans are being thrown out of work and families are struggling everywhere, how could this administration convince anyone that flooding the labor market with more foreign laborers is going to help open up or create jobs for American workers?" asks Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

As Obama’s immigration concept matures before a bill is introduced this summer, the dispute is sure to continue unabated.

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