Colorado has an unusually fast-paced economy. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, our state’s economy has recently been growing consistently at about twice the rate of the rest of the nation. That’s great news — but it means we face some unusual challenges, too, like making sure that our employment pipeline is full of qualified workers. Because the different sectors of the economy are so tightly linked, workforce shortages in one field could lead to problems all across the economic chain.
Of course, there is a simple solution to filling these workforce shortages: immigrants. For decades we have failed to overhaul an immigration system that has not evolved with a changing global economy. America’s needs have shifted and we need immigration laws that match the economic realities of 2016.
Fortunately, Colorado benefits from the presence of a large immigrant population. Most immigrants come to the United States to work, which means that while a large share of Americans are aging into retirement, many immigrants are ready to enter the workforce. Compared with the native-born population, foreign-born Coloradans in the 6th Congressional District are over 20 percent more likely to be of working age than natural born citizens, according to data from the New American Economy (NAE), a bipartisan organization that supports immigration reform benefiting the American economy. Immigrants fill the vital positions in our economy that move us forward.
Read the full story from the Aurora Sentinel: “Opinion: Immigration reform a moral imperative for many, an economic necessity for all”