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Immigrants Are Keeping America Young — And The Economy Growing | FiveThirtyEight

You wouldn’t know it from this year’s overheated campaign rhetoric, but immigration is the only thing keeping the U.S. from facing a Japan-style demographic cliff. At a time when aging and other factors mean that fewer Americans are working, immigrants — who tend to come to the U.S. during their working years and have a higher rate of labor-force participation than native-born Americans — play an increasingly important role in the U.S. workforce. Foreign-born U.S. residents made up 13.1 percent of the population in 2014 but 16.4 percent of the labor force, up from 10 percent two decades earlier.1 Immigrants help the economy in other ways too: They are more likely than native-born Americans to start businesses, and because they pay into Social Security but only receive benefits if they stay in the country permanently, they help ease the U.S.’s long-run fiscal burden.

Hmmm: Trump to do townhall in Green Bay with … Chris Matthews? « Hot Air

Graul believes immigration will be a “messy” issue in 2016, but that it might not break the way conservatives expect. This is due in part to the needs of the Green Bay industrial core, but it also the dairy farms in the rural parts of Brown County. “You’ve got a dairy industry that would cease to exist without immigrants working on these dairy farms,” he says. “You’ve got food processing industry, particularly the meat packing industry, that would have to shutter its doors without immigrant labor.” In Brown, the Republicans on the farms and the Democrats in the city may actually swap the traditional positions on immigration. The family farm has changed, and it takes outside labor to make it work. “You can’t make it work anymore on thirty cows,” Graul explains. “So farms are getting bigger to survive, and they’re getting bigger and bigger. And they need workers on those farms, and they’re not going to find that from white kids coming out of Bay Port High School. They’re finding it in immigrant labor.”
The point is, reform is going to happen sooner than most people think. If the Democrats lose the Senate in the November election, then Majority Leader Harry Reid and the president have every reason to cut a deal in a lame duck session of Congress. The sooner the GOP lays down a meaningful marker that shows what it’s for, the better the eventual deal – and there will be one – will be.
Voters support a way for undocumented immigrants to attain legal status or U.S. citizenship: 70 percent support a plan that provides legal status or U.S. citizenship for undocumented immigrants who pay penalties, pay back taxes, pass a criminal background check, and learn English and American civics, including 67 percent who strongly identify with the Tea Party and 70 percent who identify as conservative Republicans.