Flake: Country Is ‘Far Better Off Because of Migrant Labor’

Thursday on CNN’s “New Day,” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) argued against the suggestion that the United States should lower legal immigration, a policy put forth by in legislation that two of his GOP colleagues, Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA), are promoting.

Flake said such a change in immigration policy would be wrong for the overall U.S. economy.

“So, while I agree that we ought to move in the direction that some other countries have moved in, like Austalia and Canada in terms of merit-based visas, the overall number cut — I think this would cut it to about half of our current legal immigration just isn’t the right direction for the economy,” Flake said.

The junior Arizona senator explained to “New Day” co-host Chris Cuomo there was a value to migrant workers, noting that he had worked alongside them growing up.

“We know very well in Arizona, in particular, the value of migrant labor,” he said. “I grew up on a ranch in Snowflake, AZ. I talk about it a lot in the book. I grew up working next to migrant labor, and I’ve always felt that they were making America better and we were better off because of their hard work. And so I’ve been very supportive of immigration reform that first secures the border and that we have interior enforcement, but that we have a humane and generous mechanism for those who have crossed the border illegally simply to support their family and haven’t committed criminal acts other than crossing the border and also to have robust temporary worker programs to allow us to have the labor that we need to benefit our economy. So, I very much agree that we are far better off because of migrant labor.”

(h/t The Hill)

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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