America is a nation of immigrants, but America has also become a nation with a broken immigration system. Manufacturers believe our leaders not only have an obligation to fix this system but also a historic opportunity to do so at a moment when Americans’ attention is focused on the issue like almost none other.
Because manufacturers are in the business of building solutions, the National Association of Manufacturers is putting forth a reasonable and practical proposal designed to address the problems created by our current system and to fix those issues once and for all. It is with the goal of unifying a fractured country that we offer this proposal.
The NAM is calling on Congress and the administration to seize this opportunity and end the division that has been created over this issue. Not every element of this plan will appeal to all people. A comprehensive solution requires compromise, and A Way Forward is designed with that in mind.
FOR NATIONAL SECURITY, COMPASSION AND WORKFORCE ECONOMIC REALITIES
Our nation’s rich heritage and global economic influence have been made possible by generations of immigrants who have had the courage to leave their homelands, families and fortunes to call America their new home. Over the centuries, they have made the American experiment possible, helping to turn the United States into an exceptional nation and an unrivaled global leader.
America is indeed a nation of immigrants, but America has also become a nation with a broken immigration system. Manufacturers believe our leaders not only have an obligation to fix this system but also an opportunity to do so as we work to build the next, post-pandemic world.
Decades of neglect and lack of enforcement of existing laws and regulations have eroded the confidence of our citizens in the sanctity of our borders—while also leaving those who know no home other than the United States worried about their future, living in uncertainty and fear. Now, the conflict between those who rightly want our laws followed and those who recognize the contributions of immigrants and continued immigration to the United States has become a flashpoint.
A vast majority of Americans, however, believe it is time to push past the existing arguments, completely overhaul our immigration system and fix the problems that exist today by listening to the concerns of all sides. The right approach is holistic and enduring—one that bolsters our national security, upholds our rule of law, demonstrates compassion and establishes a modern, well-functioning system for welcoming new people to the United States.
This is the type of reform that manufacturers have long advocated. And because manufacturers are in the business of building solutions, in 2019, the National Association of Manufacturers put forth “A Way Forward,” a reasonable and practical proposal designed to address the problems created by our current system and to fix those issues once and for all. Since its release, the plan has helped shape the dialogue among government leaders and immigration stakeholders on the need for bold action and the components of the solution. The latest edition of this document is updated with new data available in 2021 and includes new information on the role immigrants play in powering manufacturing innovation in the United States.
Two years later, the need for our leaders to act is as imperative as ever. Not every element of this plan will appeal to all people, but the desire for something better is universal. Real solutions will require compromise, and “A Way Forward” was designed with that in mind. This Congress and this administration have a unique opportunity to move beyond the rhetoric and confusion that has defined this issue and to reestablish America’s leadership and values, while making America safer and our economy stronger.
If we do that, we will have given those who deserve it a chance to be a productive and contributing part of our country. And we will have upheld the values that make this nation of immigrants exceptional: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
President and CEO
National Association of Manufacturers
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