February 13, 2013
By Edward Alden, Foreign Affairs, 2/11/2013
U.S. President Barack Obama has made reform of the nation’s immigration laws his top priority this year. But to succeed, he will need to overcome the old adage “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” The last time Congress passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, it did not work out quite as promised. Indeed, rarely has a piece of congressional legislation failed as spectacularly as did the 1986 bill. It was intended to hold back a growing tide of illegal immigration into the United States but did nothing of the sort.
The population of illegal immigrants in the United States, which was somewhat over three million at the time the bill was enacted, surged to an estimated 12 million by 2008. Today, there are about 11 million in the United States without authorization. The epic failure of the 1980s sowed mistrust between Congress and successive presidents, and persuaded many lawmakers that immigration reform does not deserve a second chance. As Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who chairs the immigration subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, put it in early February, after listing the unmet promises of the 1986 bill: “Why should we believe you now?”
January 25, 2013
By Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick, The Wall Street Journal, 1/24/2013
The nation’s capital is awash with ideas about how to fix America’s immigration policy. The sudden ferment on this issue, which was largely dormant since efforts at comprehensive reform were torpedoed five years ago, is as welcome as it is overdue. The growing consensus on both sides of the political aisle that something needs to be done should not be squandered, for such opportunities are rare and fleeting.
Some policy makers are calling for piecemeal changes—such as issuing visas for high-skilled workers and investors, or conferring legal status on immigrants who were illegally brought into the country as children. Congress should avoid such quick fixes and commit itself instead to comprehensive immigration reform.
December 6, 2012
The Washington Post, 12/3/2012
For years, pro-immigration conservative activists have tried with little success to gain an audience with top Republicans in Washington.
But since last month’s election, with the GOP’s dismal performance among Hispanics, that has started to change. On Tuesday, more than 250 activists plan to come to Washington for a debut of sorts, hosting a news conference and strategy session before heading to Capitol Hill for meetings with key lawmakers.
Group leaders say they hope to bring a fresh, outsiders’ perspective to the debate, with testimonials from rural and suburban sheriffs, local preachers, even the director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association.
December 1, 2012
The New York Times, 12/01/2012
This time the young immigrants are the rising force, and they seek legislation to give them a direct and permanent path to citizenship. But recalling that Mr. Obama also promised at the start of his first term to move swiftly on immigration overhaul, they say their attitude toward him is wait-and-see.
This weekend, United We Dream will gather more than 600 leaders (most still without legal status) from 30 states at a meeting in Kansas City, Mo., to work out their strategy to keep the heat on the White House and Congress during the coming immigration fight.
November 30, 2012
Fox News Latino, 11/30/2012
In the first post-election effort to reform U.S. immigration policy, the House on Friday approved a Republican-sponsored measure, STEM Jobs Act, by a margin of 245 to 139.
The vote fell primarily along party lines, and followed an unsuccessful, last-minute move by Democrats to push through another version of the STEM visa bill that would keep the diversity lottery, which the Republican bill eliminates. Republicans cast 218 votes in favor of their STEM bill, but only 27 Democrats did so. Democrats cast 134 votes against it, with only five Republicans voting “No.”
November 20, 2012
The Christian Science Monitor, 11/20/2012
About one-quarter of the young undocumented immigrants eligible for the two-year deportation deferral established by President Obama have applied since the program started Aug. 15.
Statistics released last week by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gave the fullest portrait yet of who is applying, and they suggested that enthusiasm for the program was not dampened by the uncertainty caused by presidential election.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney had waffled on how he would handle the program, leading some immigration advocates to wonder if applicants might be wary of starting the process until the election was decided. But the data show the election had little effect on the process.
November 19, 2012
Op-ed, Ruben NavarretteThe Leaf Chronicle, 11/18/2012
If you think the debate over immigration from Mexico into the United States is complicated, just take a trip south of the border and look at it from that side.Complicated isn’t the half of it.
The immigration debate is also dishonest and hypocritical and filled with people who would rather pursue their own interests than solve the problem. And it all revolves around a broken system that stays broken because important and powerful interests want it that way.
November 12, 2012
The Washington Post, 11/09/2012
A growing number of conservatives are softening their views on immigration in the wake of President Obama’s dominating performance among Hispanic voters, giving new momentum to a years-long push by advocates to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants.
Yet even as officials in both parties pledged to make overhauling immigration a top goal in the coming months, it became clear Friday that the issue remains thorny for each side.
August 16, 2012
Los Angeles Times, 8/14/2012
Valdivia, a 19-year-old UC Riverside student, was one of hundreds to appear Wednesday at the offices of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles seeking help in applying for work permits.
Tens of thousands more like him lined up nationwide on the first day of a new federal program that would allow people who were brought here illegally as children to defer deportation and obtain work permits provided they meet certain criteria, such as no serious criminal record.
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