WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – Democrats say they have a plan that will deal with the nation’s immigration problems and help boost the labor market easily, however Republican lawmakers are skeptical.
The U.S. is facing a big workforce challenge and California Congressman Lou Correa says immigrants are the solution.
“We have a shortage of workers in this country. Whether it’s Silicon Valley, high tech workers,” Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) said. “Fifty percent of our farm workers are undocumented, what are you going to do? [Are] you going to deport them?“
Congressman Correa and fellow Democrats say there’s a simple solution – updating the Immigration Registry Act.
The registry act gave immigrants a path to legal status if they entered the U.S. before 1972. Correa says it’s time to update the law “so anybody that came into the country before 2015, has a good moral character…has the opportunity to apply for a green card.”
By using 2015 as the cutoff, Democrats say future illegal immigration would be discouraged but Republican congressman Mike Kelly is skeptical.
“It’s just not enforced, it’s ignored,” Rep. Kelly (R-PA) said.
He says illegal immigration remained a problem after the last update to that law in the 80s.
“It’s not just thousands, it’s millions of people that have come here,” Kelly said.
While Kelly agrees immigrants are the solution to labor shortages, he’s unlikely to support this measure.
He furthered, “you have to go through a process to come here and you can’t storm the gates.”
Meanwhile, Correa argues workers are given few good options to come to the U.S.