“As Congress and the Administration prepare to revisit our immigration laws, we write to express our broad consensus that immigration is one of America’s significant competitive advantages in the global economy. With the proper and necessary safeguards in place, immigration represents an opportunity rather than a threat to our economy and to American workers.” From an Open Letter from 1,470 Economists on Immigration to the President of the United States and Congressional Leaders, April 12, 2017

The strength of New Jersey’s economy rests on the talent, enterprise, and hard work of its people, many of whom are immigrants. New Jersey’s singular accomplishments in science, engineering, manufacturing, and the arts owe much to the contributions of immigrants. With a fertility rate below replacement level,2 a shrinking labor force,3 and tens of thousands of unfilled job openings, 4 New Jersey has an important stake in the debate over immigration reform. The New Jersey Business Immigration Coalition (NJBIC) brings together business, higher education, and economic development leaders who recognize that immigrants strengthen New Jersey’s economy and communities and who wish to create conditions to attract, retain and integrate immigrants into our labor force and communities.

NJBIC provides the New Jersey business community with information and analysis on the impact of initiatives and legal and policy developments at the national, state, and local levels that may enhance or hinder New Jersey’s ability to welcome immigrants into our communities and our labor force. We also work to amplify the voice of the New Jersey business community in policy debates on immigration.

NJBIC promotes sensible immigration reform that supports economic growth, provides New Jersey companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs and citizens.

NJBIC believes the following specific principles should guide immigration reform efforts:

  • Control immigration more effectively by enhancing border security, addressing the problem of visa overstays, and developing a simple and secure system for employers to verify employment eligibility.
  • Increase opportunities for immigrants to enter the United States workforce — and for foreign students to stay in the United States to work — so that we can attract and keep the best, the brightest and the hardest-working, who will strengthen our economy.
  • Establish a flexible and timely system to control future flows of immigrants so that admission numbers expand or contract based on the needs of the economy and the supply of domestic workers.
  • Ensure that workforce development and adult education programs help immigrants achieve their full potential.
  • Establish a path to legal status for the undocumented currently living in the United States, including the more than 50,000 DREAMers living in New Jersey, with requirements such as registering with the federal government, learning English, paying taxes and following all laws.
  • Ensure that all New Jersey residents are counted in the 2020 census in conformance with the constitutional requirement of a complete and accurate count.

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