Letter to the editor – Dec. 12, 2023


Work permits are needed

Both houses of Congress are considering drastic measures to address what they see as the “immigration crisis.” None of the measures under discussion addresses the conditions that lead to families seeking asylum or immigration — the abysmal quality of life and the rising threats to life in their countries of origin.  Both houses plan to block aid to Ukraine if it doesn’t include their border and law change demands.

The White House believes that supporting Ukraine is critical in preventing Russia from annexing yet another country and holding both Russian and potentially Chinese aggression at bay. Russian aggression may force the White House to enact the congressional demands.

We have two “crises,” the number of immigrants seeking shelter in our cities and our increasing labor shortages. We could diminish both by providing work permits to immigrants and asylum seekers. This would allow tracking of the families, provide them with the opportunity to care for themselves instead of relying on assistance from cities and states, and address the labor shortage, one of the factors in our fight against inflation. 


We are an aging nation with a declining native population. A shrinking number of workers contribute to Social Security, while the number of people drawing benefits is increasing as baby boomers retire. All business sectors are facing worker shortages, which will increase with the retirements. The demand for caregivers and healthcare workers also will grow. Work permits could be a win-win proposition. 

Please consider writing to the editors of your local newspapers and Congress about work permits. The measures Congress is discussing will not provide lasting answers, certainly not with respect for our common humanity.  We need true immigration reform, based on our country’s legitimate security needs, labor needs, shoring up our Social Security system, as well as responding to the crises elsewhere that are driving potential workers to us. 

Glenn Leach
St. Ann Parish, Long Grove

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