LAS VEGAS - While illegal immigration has been front and center of a political debate, almost 1,500 economists are shifting the focus to legal immigration, including a UNLV professor.
A one-page open letter on immigration has been sent to President Donald Trump, and leaders in Congress on both sides of the isle.
The 13 pages that follow are signatures from almost 1,500 economists. Among them, Stephen Miller, professor of economics and director of the center for economic research at UNLV.
"I thought this was particularly important for southern Nevada, so I signed," he said.
The letter states economists don't always see eye to eye but they are on the same page when it comes to the economic benefits of working immigrants.
"The supply of labor is not growing as rapidly so immigration is one way to supplement the supply of labor and we know that in southern Nevada, immigrants are a large part of our labor force," Miller said.
The letter encourages Congress to "modernize" current immigration policies making it easier for foreigners to come and work in the country legally.
"They are talking about immigration as if we are anti-immigration nation. We are not an anti immigration nation. We are, hopefully and become more so, anti-illegal immigration nation," said Alan Stock, conservative radio talk show host.
Stock, believes the letter is an attempt to confuse illegal immigration versus legal. He says he has no issue with workers from around the world coming to the country after going through the process.
"We have to make sure that we're vetting the people properly when they come here," he said.
"The hoops that you have to jump through in order to get through that are enormous these days," Miller said.
Professor Miller says it's the same lengthy and expensive process that makes legal immigration difficult. He is the only educator in Nevada who signed the open letter.
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