Immigration Reform, 2013 Edition

A bipartisan group of eight senators will unveil a framework for comprehensive immigration reform later today.  It is based on the following principles:

  • Creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here, contingent upon securing the border and better tracking of people here on visas.
  • Reforming the legal immigration system, including awarding green cards to immigrants who obtain advanced degrees in science, math, technology or engineering from an American university.
  • Creating an effective employment verification system to ensure that employers do not hire illegal immigrants.
  • Allowing more low-skill workers into the country and allowing employers to hire immigrants if they can demonstrate they couldn’t recruit a U.S. citizen; and establishing an agricultural worker program.

It’s  good thing that lawmakers are grappling with the issue, in fact, it’s long overdue.  The entire framework, available here, does a great deal to address the basic unfairness of our current immigration system and if enacted, would help move millions of immigrant workers in the U.S. out of their second-tier status and offer more opportunities.  My concern is that the plan is contingent on “secure borders.”  I’ve written extensively about the folly of this idea, that it is money wasted when there are other solutions, like temporary visas, that could address the border issue.

It is too early to criticize the framework, whatever its deficiencies.  At this point we should hope that it moves beyond framework  and debate and into meaningful legislation

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1 Comment

  1. The fact that partisans on the right and left are starting to address immigration is heartening. There are, however, a few folks determined to sabotage an accord on this issue. The current chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors comes to mind.

    One must recall the words of H.L. Mencken who noted, ” The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.” Me thinks Mr. Stewart is such a fellow.

    In the debate over immigration, those who have capitalized upon the voiceless should soon get their comeuppance.

    Somewhere far away, my nonno Ettore surely must be smiling.

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