Murdoch: Immigration Reform Can't Wait

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Thursday, 19 Jun 2014 07:29 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Describing himself as an immigrant who came to America because of the unsurpassed freedom and opportunity it offered, Rupert Murdoch urged the U.S. Congress to move forward with immigration reform, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

It would be a mistake to allow the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a local election to dissuade Congress from overhauling the country's immigration laws, he argues. There is hardly ever "a good time to do the hard things," wrote the owner of Fox News Channel and the Journal.

Immigration reform is made more difficult because some individuals are here illegally, Murdoch writes in supporting efforts to include border security as part of a comprehensive reform package.

That said, "We need to give those individuals who are already here— after they have passed checks to ensure they are not dangerous criminals— a path to citizenship so they can pay their full taxes, be counted, and become more productive members of our community," writes Murdoch.

Murdoch also encourages Americans to embrace cultural shifts. "Well, of course immigration means change. Immigrants enrich our culture and add to our economic prosperity," he writes.

It would be economically "suicidal" to "continue with large-scale deportations" or to close the nation's doors to further immigration.

He also urged removing the cap on H-1B visas which are primarily used by software engineers who are locally in short supply.

Citing research by the Partnership for a New American Economy, Murdoch points out that more than 40 percent of America's Fortune 500 companies— Google, EBAY, Pfizer, and Home Depot, for example— were started by people from immigrant families. Immigrants initiated 28 percent of new businesses in 2011.

President Barack Obama has been astute in resisting leftwing pressure to act unilaterally on immigration. But if "elected officials act like seat-warmers" and make "a bipartisan approach" unfeasible "the president might feel tempted to act via executive order."

That would lead to a "furious" and needless "political firestorm" considering that "the facts are on the side of reform," Murdoch concludes.

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