Deepak Bhargava and Ruth Milkman in The American Prospect:
Could admitting millions more immigrants over the next decade be the jolt the U.S. needs to revive its economy, culture, and politics? After four years of restrictionism under President Trump, ongoing border controversies, and an escalating culture war led by nativists, this idea may seem counterintuitive or even far-fetched. But recent labor market trends, demographic changes, and even accelerating climate change all point to dramatically increased immigration as a logical catalyst for national renewal. Becoming the most welcoming country on Earth for migrants—breathing new life into our most flattering, if too often inaccurate self-image—could be our salvation.
To see the potential upside of increased immigration requires us to examine current realities with fresh eyes. For decades, advocates of restriction have dominated the national conversation around immigration, cloaking their xenophobia under the false claim that immigrants pose a threat to U.S.-born workers. Liberals have too often failed to challenge this claim, fearing that expansive immigration policies are a path to political oblivion. But our research shows that the conventional wisdom underlying both parties’ policies is wrong: Expanding immigration is the key to economic revitalization and the most effective means to counter the continuing authoritarian threats we face in the post-Trump era.