How Immigration Reform Could Help An Aging, Indebted America
It’s no secret that the American population is aging. As the Center for Health Design put it in one of their publications, by 2030, more than 1 in 5 U.S. residents will be counted among the older population—the largest proportion on record. Most people recognize this fact, which at least in part is demonstrated the by ongoing debates about the long-term viability of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. But the key that not everybody gets, is the link between an aging U.S. native-born population and immigration.
Like it or not, it’s a fact that America can’t thrive and prosper if we close our borders to new talent and fail to find a path to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants who are already here. By extension, if we don’t get this immigration piece to the American economic puzzle right, we will not be able to build the economy needed and also sustain the social safety net programs that serve seniors and other vulnerable populations.
This is a challenge because finding the talent we will need is not that easy.
As Satish K. Tripathi, President of the University of Buffalo put it: “[I]t is clear that “talent” has become the focus of intense global competition … Demographic trends—for example, the aging-out of professional elites in Europe, Japan, and the U.S.—point to future potential talent shortfalls of unprecedented scale…” Note Tripathi’s use of the word “talent,” meaning, the likes of H1B specialty workers and entrepreneur visa candidates, as opposed to low-skill workers.
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