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  • Writer's pictureNorman Adams

Workforce Shortages Threaten Our Nation’s Economic Growth

Six and a half months after the passage of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, Americans are paying less in taxes, companies are bringing back earnings from overseas and reinvesting in America, workers are getting raises and bonuses, and the job market and economy are booming.

Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan recently forecasted falling unemployment, rising wages, and exceptional economic growth in 2018 and 2019, but warned that without immigration reform to address increasing labor shortages, future economic growth will suffer.

“We need to come to grips with immigration reform in order to supplement labor force growth in the U.S.,” he said.

However, labor shortages are already negatively impacting American businesses that can’t find enough workers, which in turn increases the cost of goods for American consumers, especially as new tariffs increase the cost of imports.

According to the Dallas Builders Association, even though hourly wages for Texas construction workers rose 12% in the last year, Builders in the DFW area still have nearly 38,000 construction jobs that remain unfilled. This shortage of workers adds about two months and $5000 of extra cost to the typical home building project in the area.

These are just a couple examples, but there are many more reasons why Democrats and Republicans need to work together for a solution to our broken immigration system. Secure the border, salvage and retain DACA-related workers by allowing them to earn work permits, and encourage legal entry of new immigrant workers in order to meet our current workforce needs. 

Although no one wants to talk about it, our most critical workforce challenge is to retain as many as possible of the 11 million undocumented immigrants that are either misclassified or working with fake SS numbers. America needs legislation that will force these unauthorized workers to earn legal status and work only for employers that deduct and match taxes.

IDing those who are undocumented would also greatly enhance national security (for the first time, we would know who these people are) and ICE would then be able focus all on violent criminal aliens like MS-13 gang members who are looking to do us harm.

If we provide a way for qualifying individuals to come out of the shadows, they will be eligible for workers' comp and be able to buy their own health insurance, instead of showing up uninsured at the emergency room when they get hurt and leaving taxpayers to foot the bill.

They would also be able to buy car insurance, which would protect the property of American citizens should they get into an accident with any of these individuals.  

These are a few of the reasons why I am asking lawmakers in Washington to pass legislation that will  secure the border and provide a conditional pathway for unauthorized immigrants who are here today to earn their legal status.

If you agree that we need a solution to our broken immigration system, contact your lawmaker today and let them know.

God bless you, and may He continue to bless America.


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