CAF Heralds President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

The Campaign for America’s Future fully supports the executive action on immigration that President Obama announced Thursday night, its co-directors, Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey, said in a joint statement.

Here is their full statement:

“President Barack Obama’s decision to waive the threat of deportation to upwards of five million undocumented immigrants and their families is a historic moment that moves America closer to its ideal of equal opportunity for all.

“Our inequality crisis is worsened by the exploitation of immigrant workers who toil without equal rights and fair compensation. The American economy will grow stronger, from the bottom up, once we end our two-tiered economic system and ensure that all workers have the same rights. Providing immigrant workers with legal status will boost their compensation and increase economic demand, growth which will even reduce long-term budget deficits. While comprehensive immigration reform legislation is still needed to fully address these persistent problems, today’s executive action is a major step forward that Republicans would be foolish to even try to roll back.

“The president is well within his legitimate authority to set deportation priorities with limited resources when implementing our immigration laws. If Republicans disagree with his policy, they can render the procedural dispute moot by passing their own legislation that lifts the 11 million undocumented immigrants out of the shadows, grants them a path to citizenship and allows them to fully participate in and grow the American economy. Last year, the Senate passed a similar measure with bipartisan support. Republicans now have the power and the responsibility to govern, not simply to complain. They should get about doing so.

“For years, Republicans put off doing what it is right for the immigrant community and the American economy, in order to pander to the anti-immigrant bigots who sully the conservative movement.

“Now, Republicans can step up to the challenge of governing, and stand up to the bigotry in their ranks. Or they can prove to immigrant families, which include millions of legal voters, that Republicans want them locked in a shadow economy rather than accord them the rights and respect they deserve.”

CAF Endorses Warren Bill Easing Tuition Burden On Students

Washington—The Campaign for America’s Future has thrown its support behind the student loan relief bill introduced on Tuesday by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

CAF co-director Robert L. Borosage released the following statement:

“There are nearly 40 million Americans with outstanding student loan debt, which now averages $29,400 per graduate. That total increases with the rising costs of tuition, even at public colleges and universities, and by the failure of our own government to address college affordability.”

“These cruel debts are forcing a generation to put off saving, purchasing a home and even beginning a family. All agree that college education is a necessity, not a luxury in the modern world. It is a disgrace that in the U.S. it is becoming less and less affordable as it becomes more necessary. That is why we are enthusiastically endorsing Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s bill, which would allow borrowers with existing student loan debt to refinance at the same rate current undergraduates receive, currently 3.86 percent.”

“Homeowners can refinance their homes. A car loan can be had for under 3 percent. Yet college graduates are paying interest rates of nearly 7 percent or higher on existing undergraduate loans, and are unable to refinance.”

“We hope her colleagues in the Senate and the members of the House see how Senator Warren’s bill will brighten the future of millions of borrowers while at the same time energizing the U.S. economy.”

Worse Than Expected Jobs Report Calls For “Bold and Immediate Action”

The March jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls for “bold and immediate action” to put people to work and address the needs of the long-term unemployed, Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage said Friday.

The report showed lower-than-expected jobs growth of 192,000 in March, which Borosage noted means that “there are still fewer jobs now than there were in December 2007 before the Great Recession.”

Borosage called for “extended support for the long-term unemployed” and “bold steps to put people to work on work that needs to be done: service corps for the young, a big infrastructure program to rebuild and modernize the country, aid to states to rehire teachers, steps to make child care affordable and extend preschool to all.”

Borosage’s full statement is below. His post also appears on the Campaign for America’s Future’s website, OurFuture.org.

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The March jobs report – 192,000 jobs with the unemployment rate remaining at 6.7 percent – is simply more of the same: an economy growing too slowly to make a major dent in continued mass unemployment.

This is the 49th straight month of private jobs creation, as the White House will report. The unemployment rate has fallen from its 2009 height of 10 percent.

But there are still fewer jobs now than there were in December 2007 before the Great Recession, even as the population has grown. The employment-to-population ratio remained unchanged this month at 58.9 percent, far below pre-recession levels. Long-term unemployment, at 3.7 million, changed little, and remains at historically elevated heights. Jobs growth continues to be concentrated in lower-wage jobs – temporary help services, service in restaurants and bars.

Mass unemployment produces human tragedy, increases in suicides, cancers, divorces and depression. It translates into stagnant wages. The optimism of the young is crushed. Homes are lost. Families divided. This is also a tragedy for the nation, as its potential for growth is eroded. We spend money on misery rather than investing in promise.

Inside the Beltway, the tendency is to see this tragedy as the new normal. The Federal Reserve is “tapering” off its extraordinary purchases of securities, although Fed chair Janet Yellen continues to raise alarms about employment. The Congress remains committed to austerity budgets, costing jobs rather than stimulating them. Federal government employment dropped, and is down 85,000 jobs over the course of the year.

We need bold and immediate action. Extended support for the long-term unemployed should be immediately reinstated. The Congress should turn from austerity to bold steps to put people to work on work that needs to be done: service corps for the young, a big infrastructure program to rebuild and modernize the country, aid to states to rehire teachers, steps to make child care affordable and extend preschool to all.

Ironically, those concerned that America is too far in debt should be arguing for, not against, bold action now. Austerity in these conditions only slows growth, making deficit reduction more difficult. The Congressional Budget Office has just added about $1 trillion to its projected deficits because it has lowered its estimates of America’s growth potential. The most sophisticated economic analysis concludes that increasing government spending now will help generate the growth that actually reduces deficits and debt in the long term.

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