Immigration is one of the great polarizing issues in American politics. It is the issue that riles my conservative friends the most. They oppose anything that smacks of amnesty, open borders, or more people entering the country illegally. They argue that those people are prone to committing crimes, lazily devour welfare (while simultaneously taking our jobs), and refuse to assimilate. Those claims are largely untrue. But opponents of broad immigration reform also argue that people who have entered the country illegally broke the law — and in a nation built on the rule of law, that should mean something. They also argue that a nation must be able to control its borders. Those are valid points.
But overall, immigrants are good for the United States. Modern immigrants, like those who came before, are here to work hard and provide for their families. They want economic opportunity. They embody the American dream — and they happen to be good for state governments’ bottom line.