Biden: We need ‘constant, unrelenting stream’ of immigrants

Vice President Biden painted a rosy picture of the outlook for U.S. businesses Tuesday, but said economic growth hinges in large part on immigration reform, now languishing in Congress. 

“We need it badly from a purely – purely economic point of view,” Biden said during remarks to the National Association of Manufacturers.

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The call came amid a wide-ranging address to the business group, in which Biden said the United States is better positioned than its rivals to compete in the global marketplace.

“We have the most resilient economy in the world,” Biden told hundreds of people gathered at the business group’s annual conference. “We’re better positioned than any country in the world to lead the world in the 21st Century.”

Biden said a key to the country’s solid economic footing is the “the ‘constant, unrelenting stream’ of immigrants that has come to the United States for generations.

“Not dribbling,” Biden explained. “Significant flows.”

He said the United States is among a few countries that can boast sustainable population growth, a vital part of ensuring a sufficient workforce and growing economy.

“China doesn’t have it, Japan doesn’t have, it most European countries don’t have it,” he said.

Biden tied the historic economic benefits to passage of immigration legislation now stalled in the House. Citing government estimates, the vice president said a bill passed last year in the Senate would increase the gross national product by 4.5 percent over the next 20 years, reduce the national deficit by $850 billion and extend the solvency of the Social Security system by two years.

Biden also called for increased federal investment in the country’s infrastructure and steps to improve job training.