Nearly 1,500 economists, including six Nobel Laureates, sent a letter to President Donald Trump and top lawmakers on Wednesday urging them to support immigrants for the good of the nation's economy.
"As Congress and the administration prepare to revisit our immigration laws, we write to express our broad consensus that immigration is one of America's significant competitive advantages in the global economy," the letter stated. "With the proper and necessary safeguards in place, immigration represents an opportunity rather than a threat to our economy and to American workers."
The letter, which comes amid an ongoing immigration crackdown, was addressed to Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif).
It was organized by New American Economy, a coalition of business leaders and mayors that seeks to influence public opinion on immigration reform. The 1,470 signatories span the political spectrum.
"[T]he benefits that immigration brings to society far outweigh their costs, and smart immigration policy could better maximize the benefits of immigration while reducing the costs," the letter continues. "We urge Congress to modernize our immigration system in a way that maximizes the opportunity immigration can bring, and reaffirms continuing the rich history of welcoming immigrants to the United States."
The letter was sent the same day that Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed prosecutors around the country to implement a crackdown on undocumented immigrants in a plan that one veteran lawyer described as "fucking horrifying."
Similarly, the Washington Post reported Wednesday that the Trump administration appears to be building up a nationwide deportation force.