Panel Debates Need for Immigrant Workers

DENTON, Texas (AP) - An international studies scholar says reforms to current immigration policies should include plans for adjusting the number of people legally allowed into the country depending on the current economic demands.

Lee Hamilton, director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, says that by adjusting the number of visas, the federal government will help ease illegal immigration.

He spoke last night at an immigration conference at the University of North Texas.

Co-panelist Mark Krikorian (krih-KOR'-ee-ahn), executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors immigration restrictions, disputed there is a need for immigrant labor.

He says the reality that immigrants work in all different occupations doesn't indicate whether there is an actual need for immigration.

Panelist Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Law Foundation, argued against enforcement that criminalizes willing workers and doesn't differentiate them from smugglers.

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