Failure to reunite families means failure to keep communities healthy, physically and financially. A healthier family means a more expendable income and a lower burden on government social services. A reunited family keeps remittances stateside: U.S. remittances to Latin America alone totaled almost $46 billion in 2008. Of that, Mexico received almost $24 billion.
Failure is simply not feasible. We must seize every opportunity this year to get our economy back on track, and one clear way of doing so is to reunite Americas workers with their families. The irony with anti-immigration sentiment, which fears a further recessed economy if liberal legislation passes, is that, in fact, it is more fiscally prudent to pass policy that legalizes, insures, employs, reunites and educates our immigrants.
Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) is chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.