The report and recommendations of the Independent Task Force on Immigration and America’s Future, co-chaired by former Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-MI) and former Rep. Lee H. Hamilton (D-IN), address the dilemmas of illegal immigration but also reconcile the need to meet strong economic and social demands for legal immigration with the imperative to strengthen enforcement and safeguard national security.
The report articulates a vision that promotes US global competitiveness in the context of post-9/11 security imperatives, while grappling with many of the technical details that are frustrating reform efforts. Among its recommendations, the Task Force calls on Congress and the President to:
What People are Saying About Immigration and America's Future:
"Much as the Federal Reserve sets monetary policy, an independent federal commission should adjust immigration levels or make recommendations to Congress to adjust them, based on an analysis of labor market trends, unemployment and other economic factors.
"That's one key recommendation that emerged in September from the Independent Task Force on Immigration and America's Future. Its report, prepared by the Migration Policy Institute, is the most thoughtful analysis yet completed on immigration.
"It's nothing less than a blueprint for rebuilding American immigration policy, based on the needs of our economy. With this blueprint in hand, some of the nation's emotions cleared away, and the politics of the illegal immigration issue tabled, at least temporarily, Congress should be able to get to work."
Editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle, October 1, 2006:
"The report of the Independent Task Force on Immigration and America's Future issued two weeks ago offers a wide-ranging blueprint for reform of all parts of our immigration system. For that reason, it deserves close attention…
"Convened by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research institute in Washington D.C., the task force was co-chaired by Spencer Abraham, a former Republican senator and President Bush's first energy secretary, and Lee Hamilton, president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a former Democratic congressman from Indiana.
"The report shows compellingly how our system of legal immigration is completely out of whack with the future labor needs of the U.S. economy."
Editorial in The New York Times, October 9, 2006:
"…These are only a few reasonable solutions. A host of others is offered in a new report by the Migration Policy Institute, in which Lee Hamilton, the former congressman, and Spencer Abraham, the former senator and energy secretary, argue that immigration needs to be seen as an integral element of a national economic policy. It is a resource to be embraced and managed, with a lawful, orderly flow of workers governed by flexible quotas set by a national commission advising Congress.
"It’s a comprehensive approach and then some. It offers a new way of framing a stalled debate. The wall builders have made their point, and it’s a lousy one. Now it is time for those who want serious immigration reform to look beyond them."
The report was released in Washington, DC in September. Members are now presenting the report in various cities across the country and working with policymakers at all levels of government as well as other stakeholders to broaden the scope of the national dialogue on immigration reform.
The Division of United States Studies and the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Manhattan Institute have collaborated with MPI in convening the Task Force.
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