Further Details on Immigration
Today, immigrants make up about 14 percent of the U.S. population, more than 43 million out of about 323 million people. Together immigrants and their U.S. born children make up about 27 percent of the U.S. population. From an economic perspective, 1 in 5 self-employed business owners in the United States is an immigrant, 1 in 6 workers in the U.S. labor force is an immigrant, and the spending power of immigrant households are $926.9 billion. 
Undocumented immigrants add an entirely different layer to the discussion. From a call to border closures and fines to employers who knowingly hire workers; the U.S. and various officials have tried to curtail illegal immigration. Illegal boarding crossings aren’t the primary way in which individuals end up in the United States, most just overstay tourist or other visas. A report by the Center for Migration Studies found that in 2016-2017, 62% of the newly undocumented population overstayed their visas, while 38% had crossed the border illegally. 
In Pennsylvania the unemployment rate is at 3.8% , creating a challenge for employers to access workers and grow their businesses. The state is home to 893,769 immigrants , where 495,780 or 7.6  percent make up the state’s labor force. While only making up 7% of the population, immigrants make a difference in the Pennsylvania economy by contributing nearly $10.1 billion to taxes and entitlement programs. We need to make our immigration process or migrant opportunities simpler, as a solution can aid our workforce and economic issues.
Immigration is a nationwide issue, where every state and every person have a stake in its resolution. It is imperative that our country as a whole has an open conversation on what’s next and takes realistic approaches in shaping the best future for not only immigration but as the issue applies to the future of the United States.
A resolution can only be met if the varying sides of the discussion are willing to compromise. Join us for Democracy Challenge on September 18 as Governor Ed Rendell and Governor Mark Schweiker share their take on how to address this issue and display how our elected officials should approach this conversation.