Doubling the number of legal immigrants into the United States could help ease both inflation and the labor shortage, according to U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Suzanne Clark, CNN reported.
“We need more workers. We should welcome people who want to come here, go to school and stay,” Clark told reporters during a press conference. “That is a place the government could be particularly helpful, and we do believe it would be anti-inflationary.”
She added that significantly increasing immigration, in fact, “might be the fastest thing to do to impact inflation.”
Clark explained that boosting the number of immigrants would help alleviate disruptions in the supply chain, which are a major contributing factor to the sharp increase in inflation.
In her address on the “State of American Business” following the press conference, Clark stressed that “we have to grow our workforce if we want to grow our economy and stay competitive,” adding that immigrants of every sill level want “to put their talent to work and pursue their dreams in a dynamic economy flush with opportunity,” Business Insider reported.
She also suggested creating “a permanent solution for the ‘Dreamers’ — those young men and women who know no other home and who contribute to their communities, but whose legal status is in limbo.”
Clark referenced the never-passed proposal in Congress called the DREAM Act — Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors — that would have provided opportunity and protections for young immigrants.
Labor shortages have been among the major reason for higher prices in the U.S.
Particularly hurting the supply chain has been a systemic shortage of truck drivers and agricultural workers, according to the Business Insider.
The Census Bureau estimated net immigration at 1.07 million people in 2016, but that number has decreased every year since, including only 477,000 in 2020.
Many of the industries worst affected by the current shortage in U.S. labor have historically been based on immigrant labor — particularly agriculture, food processing, and restaurants.
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