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The Many Facets of Effective Immigration Reform

Abstract

The United States needs a new immigration policy that is based less on wishful thinking and more on realism. Spending vast sums of money trying to enforce arbitrary numerical limits on immigration that bear no relationship to economic reality is a fool’s errand. We need flexible limits on immigration that rise and fall with U.S. labor demand, coupled with strict enforcement of tough wage and labor laws that protect all workers, regardless of where they were born. We need to respect the natural human desire for family reunification, while recognizing that even family-based immigrants are unlikely to come here if jobs are not available. And we need to create a pathway to legal status for unauthorized immigrants who are already here so that they can no longer be exploited by unscrupulous employers who hang the threat of deportation over their heads.

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Notes

  1. Data provided to the author by U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters, Office of Public Affairs, September 25, 2009.

  2. Ibid.

  3. See U.S. Government Accountability Office 2008a, b.

  4. The cap is set at 10,000, but 5,000 visas are reserved each year for beneficiaries of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act of 1997 (NACARA). See Wasem 2009.

  5. See Haddal and Wasem (2009).

  6. See also, Myers (2007).

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Correspondence to Walter A. Ewing.

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Ewing, W.A. The Many Facets of Effective Immigration Reform. Soc 47, 110–117 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12115-009-9288-4

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Keywords

  • Immigration enforcement
  • Immigration reform
  • Unauthorized immigration
  • Legalization