Our current immigration system is in desperate need of reform.
A project of the National Immigration Forum, the Council on National Security and Immigration is a group of American national security leaders who believe immigration reforms are imperative to bolster and maintain the United States’ global leadership in the 21st century.
The United States of America is a nation of immigrants seeking freedom, opportunity, and security. Throughout our history, immigrants have been the country’s bedrock, making vital contributions to the United States’ economic, cultural, and innovative achievements. This remains true today. However, our nation’s dated immigration system is in desperate need of reform. It is inefficient, unfair, and, at times, prejudiced. It does not embody the example the U.S. seeks to project to the rest of the world. Moreover, it creates security vulnerabilities that must be remedied through strategic reforms that support our long-term national interests. Specifically, we require legislative changes to ensure we have the necessary security and vetting policies to keep the American people safe, maintain a competitive workforce that grows the economy, establish safe and durable refugee and asylum programs, and provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants who have built their lives in the United States and serve our country.
We believe that a successful immigration framework respects the rule of law, strengthens our national security and economic interests, upholds human dignity, and values immigrants’ contributions to the success of our nation. This includes a system that attracts the world’s best and brightest in intellectual talent and entrepreneurial spirit, and adheres to our nation’s humanitarian principles by welcoming the most vulnerable migrants. Better immigration policies will strengthen our national security by improving global relationships and information-sharing, and by bolstering our image and leadership abroad. Moreover, our moral and humanitarian leadership in welcoming the most vulnerable migrants sets an example and encourages other countries to follow.
In order to address 21st century security challenges, we must construct a robust immigration system that concurrently prioritizes the safety of the American people, honors our humanitarian traditions, advances our national interests, and looks to the future to ensure U.S. global competitiveness. In this window of legislative opportunity, we call upon our elected leaders to reject divisive rhetoric in pursuit of constructive, bipartisan compromise for the betterment of our nation. It is long past time that we address the vulnerabilities in our immigration system. If our leaders are unable to capitalize on this moment, we believe these vulnerabilities will grow increasingly intractable over time. We urge our elected leaders to act with urgency, and enact immigration reforms that put the national interests of the United States — and the security and wellbeing of the American people — before partisan politics.