Immigration reform is partly about how much poverty to welcome

Over the past two decades, the United States has run an immigration policy that has substantially increased poverty in this country. Two-thirds of immigrant households—that is counting both immigrants and their U.S.-born children—from Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala live in poverty or near-poverty. Other Latin-American immigrant groups fare only a little less badly: more than 50 percent among Salvadorans; just less than 50 percent among Cubans.

Even long-established immigrants are disproportionately likely to stay poor. Among immigrants (of all origins) who have resided in the United States for longer than 20 years, the poverty rate is 30 percent higher than among the native born (of all races).