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Congressional Priorities and Partisan Politics

We have all heard about the problems with the Affordable Care Act (known by many as Obamacare) website. In fact, it seems like this has been all I’ve heard about from our elected representatives. While I, too, was disappointed that the website was not running smoothly from the start, I think that many things can take some time to work at their best. Frankly, I’m surprised that so many of our elected representatives are focusing so much on website glitches in favor of ignoring pressing need for action on other important topics. It is clear that Republicans are mainly focused on making President Obama look bad, rather than on making progress for this country. Having seen first-hand how broken our immigration system is, my main concern is immigration reform, and the way many Republicans have blocked it every step of the way, when it is glaringly clear that it would benefit the United States tremendously. On June 27th of this year, the Senate voted to overwhelmingly approve a bipartisan plan for immigration reform. When the bill made its way to the House of Representatives, Speaker Boehner refused to even allow the bill to be voted on. What kind of democracy do we live in, if one representative and one faction of one party will not even allow a vote on a law? Seems like quite the opposite of democracy to me.

Immigration reform is good for everyone. It’s good for the economy. It’s good for the people; US citizens and immigrants alike. Immigrants are business owners and homeowners. They pay taxes and they support the communities they live in. Foreign workers, with employment-based green cards, foster innovation in American business. In 2007, immigrant-owned small businesses generated a total of $776 billion in receipts and employed an estimated 4.7 million people. 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants. In my home state of Ohio, studies show that a set of reforms that provides a pathway to earned citizenship and expands a high-skilled and other temporary worker programs would together boost Ohio’s economic output by $938 million and create approximately 10,960 new jobs in 2014. To see where I got my data or for more information on how immigration reform benefits the US, please see here!

This country was built on immigrants, and it will continue to thrive through immigration. But we must fix our broken system. It is time to start holding politicians accountable for not looking out for the interests of the country they are sworn to take care of and the people whose interests they are elected to represent. If we want to continue to be the great country that we are in the growing and ever-changing global marketplace of business and ideas, we need to welcome immigration reform. A piecemeal approach is not enough.

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