Immigrants are key to a thriving America

November 27, 2014 12:00 am • BY Galen Carey

Pundits and partisans will debate the merits and political impact of President Obama’s executive order reprioritizing immigration enforcement resources. But while there are legitimate differences about what should be done by administrative action and what requires legislation, no one should question the value of modernizing our broken immigration system and allowing immigrants to fully contribute to our national prosperity.
The United States remains the top destination for aspiring immigrants, because we offer the best opportunities to newcomers for economic improvement, skill development and cultural freedom. St. Louis contributes well to this proud tradition through initiatives such as the St. Louis Mosaic Project, designed to invigorate the region by welcoming new Americans.

Immigrants’ contributions will become only more important as our demographics continue to change in coming years. At an “Immigration 2020” National Strategy Session last month, hosted by the National Immigration Forum, a wide range of academic, business, religious and community leaders considered these changing demographics and how our communities approach immigrants and immigration.

I represent the National Association of Evangelicals, which got its start at a meeting in St. Louis in 1942. As one of the faith leaders present for the immigration discussion last week, I felt encouraged and challenged by the vision of Immigration 2020: a thriving nation that will provide immigrants with the opportunities, skills and status they need to fully participate in making the United States an even better and more attractive country.

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