Thursday, October 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Bill Clinton touts immigration reform in Philly

Former President Bill Clinton, speaking this afternoon at a State Budget Crisis Task Force forum at the National Constitution Center, said "we all have a stake in the passage" of immigration reform legislation currently being debated in the U.S. Senate. One big selling factor, Clinton said, is that the push will keep America's population younger than other countries.

Bill Clinton touts immigration reform in Philly

Former President Bill Clinton speaks during a meeting of the State Budget Crisis Task Force at the National Constitution Center.<br />
Former President Bill Clinton speaks during a meeting of the State Budget Crisis Task Force at the National Constitution Center. Matt Rourke

Former President Bill Clinton, speaking this afternoon at a State Budget Crisis Task Force forum at the National Constitution Center, said "we all have a stake in the passage" of immigration reform legislation currently being debated in the U.S. Senate.  One big selling factor, Clinton said, is that the push will keep America's population younger than other countries.

"I think it will increase the number of taxpayers and the rate of economic growth in virtually every state in the country," Clinton said. "I say that because its a budget externality that we don't think about a lot.  But if you look all over the world, demographics is destiny. And, having lost it, I can tell you that youth matters."

Clinton, 66, let the crowd chuckle at his joke but then noted that the U.S. population is younger than Europe and Japan and will be younger in 20 years than China if that country does not shift it's "one-child" birth regulation and immigration policy.

"We are big enough and I hope smart enough in the management of our resources to handle continued population growth," said Clinton.

The former president, however, questioned the portion of the bipartisan legislation that spends $25 billion to increase the U.S. Border Patrol to 40,000 agents and completes a 700-mile fence on the border with Mexico, "when we've finished two years where there was no net in-migration from Mexico. None. Zero. None."

The Pew Research Hispanic Center last year found that the four-decade-long wave of migration from Mexico to America had come to a standstill and perhaps had even started to reverse.

Clinton said Mexico is experiencing "economic growth and declining inequality."

"They're doing much better than 90 percent of the American people have any idea that they're doing," Clinton said. "And we're going to be very glad that we have trade and other types of partnerships with them."

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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