E.g., 10/31/2014
E.g., 10/31/2014

Legalization/Regularization

Legalization/Regularization

Millions of unauthorized immigrants have been given legal status in Europe and the United States since the mid-1980s through programs and mechanisms variously referred to as legalization or regularization. The policy tool has been used variously to address rising numbers of unauthorized immigrants, regulate underground labor markets, or for humanitarian purposes. Viewed by critics as a spur for more illegal migration, such policies are touted as a humanitarian means of addressing the status of workers and residents living in limbo and of regulating the informal labor market.

Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
November 2010
By Donald M. Kerwin and Laureen Laglagaron
Reports
October 2010
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Madeleine Sumption, and Aaron Terrazas
Policy Briefs
July 2010
By Jeanne Batalova and Margie McHugh
Fact Sheets
February 2008
By Claire Bergeron
Reports
September 2006
By Doris Meissner, Deborah W. Meyers, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, and Michael Fix

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Recent Activity

Video
June 24, 2010

The conference, co-sponsored by Georgetown Law, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and the Migration Policy Institute, focused immigration and refugee law and policy.

Video, Audio
April 12, 2010

Public Policy Institute of California researchers Magnus Lofstrom and Laura Hill discuss their research examining the potential labor market outcomes and other possible economic effects of a legalization program.

Video
June 24, 2009

This conference offers law and policy analysis and discussion on cutting-edge immigration issues.

Fact Sheets
February 2008

This fact sheet examines the dramatic increase in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services processing times for naturalization applications resulting from an overall increase in applications during fiscal year 2007.

Reports
September 2006

The culminating report of the Independent Task Force on Immigration and America’s Future seeks to design a new and simplified immigration regime that averts illegal immigration, and at the same time, harnesses the benefits of immigration for the future.

Policy Briefs
September 2005

This policy brief explores the often neglected migration management potential of “regularization” or “legalization” programs, arguing that properly conceived and carefully executed “earned” regularization programs can not only prevent the number and flow of unauthorized migrants from building to unacceptable levels, but can also set the stage for smarter use of enforcement resources and improvements in labor market and social policy development.

Policy Briefs
August 2005

The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) was the first legislative attempt to comprehensively address the issue of unauthorized immigration. The bill included sanctions against employers for the hiring of undocumented migrants, more robust border enforcement, and an expansive legalization program that was unprecedented.

Fact Sheets
June 2005

This report examines the scope and extent of the United States immigration system’s chronic backlog problem by offering insight into factors that contribute to protracted processing delays for naturalization and permanent residency applications before highlighting the steps the government has taken to address the issue.

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