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US immigration policy: The border between reform and the economy

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

America’s immigration policy no longer serves the needs of our fast-changing global economy. Failure to address immigration reform at the national level has resulted in missed opportunities to spur America’s economic growth and productivity.

On May 15, The Hamilton Project at Brookings held a forum exploring the challenges and opportunities for immigration reform in today’s political and economic climate. Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, gave featured remarks on the Obama Administration’s efforts to reform America’s broken immigration system and why that is an economic imperative.

In the first panel, UC Davis Economist Giovanni Peri presented a new proposal for a market-based approach to immigration reform. A panel of experts representing a range of perspectives discussed details of the proposal. A second panel of thought leaders discussed many of the broader issues surrounding today’s immigration reform debate. Participants included: former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Silver Lake Co-Founder Glenn Hutchins, National Council of La Raza President and CEO Janet Murguía, and UNITE HERE President John Wilhelm. Following each panel the participants took audience questions.


Welcome and Introductions

Robert E. Rubin
Co-Chair, Council on Foreign Relations
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary

Roundtable: A Market-Based Approach to Immigration Reform

Author: Giovanni Peri
Professor of Economics, University of California, Davis

Discussant: Edward Schumacher-Matos
Ombudsman, National Public Radio
James Madison Professor of Journalism, Columbia University

Discussant: Marschall Smith
Senior Vice President Legal Affairs and General Counsel, 3M

Discussant: Jorge Suarez
Director of Human Resources, Ocean Mist Farms, Castroville, CA

Moderator: Michael Greenstone
Senior Fellow and Director, The Hamilton Project
The Brookings Institution

Roundtable: The Challenges and Opportunities for Immigration Reform in the United States

The Honorable Chuck Hagel
Distinguished Professor, Georgetown University
Former U.S. Senator (R-NE)

Glenn Hutchins
Co-Founder, Silver Lake
Vice Chairman, The Brookings Institution

Janet Murguía
President and CEO, National Council of La Raza

John Wilhelm
President, UNITE HERE

Moderator: Edward Alden
Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Featured Remarks: The Economic Imperative for Immigration Reform

Cecilia Muñoz
Assistant to the President and Director,
White House Domestic Policy Council