We need comprehensive immigration reform now

A proposal that cuts almost $900 billion from the deficit over two decades deserves real consideration. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the bipartisan immigration solution being debated in the U.S. Senate would save our economy $197 billion over 10 years.
The study explains that in the second, 10-year period, the deficit would decrease by an additional $700 billion. Furthermore, CBO discusses how comprehensive immigration reform will help economic growth as more individuals will be consuming goods and services.
This economic growth and increased demand would eventually require more labor, thus creating more jobs. The bipartisan Senate immigration bill also ensures the best and brightest are able to work right here for American companies, increasing the potential number of H-1B visas for highly skilled workers by as many as 180,000.
In short, the comprehensive immigration bill is good for our economy, good for families, and good for building an America as good as the dream.
Our immigration system is broken. We should focus in keeping families together and reducing immigration backlogs. I believe that law-abiding, tax-paying, immigrant workers and their families should be provided a pathway to American citizenship.
This may be a long and challenging path, but there should be an opportunity for those who play by the rules to share fully in the American Dream.
We must adopt a common-sense, American solution that secures the border, protects the rights of all workers and modernizes our legal immigration programs. Furthermore, we should not permit the unscrupulous to undercut honest business owners by exploiting cheap labor. Any temporary worker program must provide workers with labor and civil protections.  
As the New York Times said in an editorial this spring: Stronger protections for immigration workers against exploitation and abuse would help “rid the system of bottom-feeding employers who hire and underpay and otherwise exploit cheap immigrant labor, dragging down wages and workplace standards for everyone.”
I have long sponsored the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act, so eligible students, who came here through no fault of their own, have an opportunity to succeed in college and contribute to our economy.  
I have met personally with these students. They have much to offer our community. Qualified individuals deserve a chance to become innovators and scientists, employers and entrepreneurs, proud members of our armed services, all of which will go on to make extraordinary contributions to our nation.
According to a study from the Center for American Progress, passage of the DREAM Act alone would add a total of $329 billion to the economy by 2030 and support the creation of 1.4 million new jobs. By 2030, it estimates that eligible DREAMers would earn $148 billion in wages and spend these earnings in the American economy — buying cars, homes, and other items that would expand opportunities for all Americans in the form of new jobs and economic growth.
Most of us have ancestors who immigrated to this country, and we know about some of the hardships that they faced — from learning the language to dealing with prejudice.  
I will continue working to find a permanent solution to our broken immigration system that benefits all our families, our economy and our national security. 

Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D) represents District 35, which includes portions of Hays, Bexar, Comal, Caldwell, Guadalupe and Travis counties.