Why We Need Comprehensive Immigration Reform

As Governor of Florida, I had a front row seat to the immigration debate for years. As a husband and father in law, I've personally experienced how immigrants can make our life richer. Yet, since our nation's founding the immigration debate has been a challenge.

Most Americans agree that coming to the United States legally should be easier and with less cost than coming to the country illegally. Unfortunately, right now, that is not the case. We need consistent and stronger enforcement and we need a process for legal immigration for those aspiring to make a contribution to our country's future.

Our nation has been an honorable place of refuge for people to escape religious persecution, to exercise their freedom of thought, to flee overreaching regimes, and to take a chance on upward mobility. Those people are just like us -- they only happened to have been born somewhere else by chance.

To achieve sustained economic growth for the United States, we need to reform our immigration laws from top to bottom. We cannot grow our way out of the structural problems we have without young, energetic and productive immigrants. Without immigration reform, our entitlement programs will overwhelm us.

This is one reason I am participating in the virtual March for Innovation today. Thanks to the bipartisan work taking place in the House and Senate right now, I am encouraged Washington might pass comprehensive reform this year.

You too can help by joining The March for Innovation in support of immigration reform. This is shaping up to be the largest virtual march leaders in Washington have ever seen. The more of us that get involved, the more likely we are to see reform finally take place and allow us to move forward as a nation.

Take action now to help me send this message. It only takes a minute for one person to make a big impact.

Jeb Bush was governor of Florida from 1999-2007.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and The Partnership for a New American Economy, in conjunction with the March for Innovation, a virtual march taking place May 22-23 across a number of social-media platforms designed to call attention to the immigration-reform bill now before Congress. One of those platforms will be HuffPost Live. For more information on the march, click here.