Migration Policy Institute
Avoiding the Pitfalls on the Road to Reform: Issues that Must Be Addressed to Build an Effective U.S. Immigration System
Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director, MPI U.S. Immigration Policy Program
Michael Fix, MPI Senior Vice President and Director of Studies
Demetrios G. Papademetriou, President, Migration Policy Institute
Muzaffar Chishti, Director, MPI Office at NYU School of Law
While the immigration reform frameworks released by a bipartisan group of senators and the White House are largely in agreement on topline issues such as conferring legal status on most of the nation’s 11 million unauthorized immigrants and increasing immigration enforcement, many details on such complex issues such as how to shape a legalization program and how to reconcile business and labor differences over future flows of workers needed by the U.S. economy are yet to be finalized.
With the Gang of Eight rushing to complete legislation for unveiling in the Senate in April, the introduction of a bill marks only the beginning of a process that is sure to get more complicated as the proposed legislation emerges and is subject to public scrutiny.
This Migration Policy Institute discussion, featuring experts with decades of immigration policy experience in and out of government, examines some of the matters at the heart of immigration reform: How would the registration process of a legalization program for unauthorized immigrants best be designed and implemented? How should future flows for needed workers be determined? And what will be the effects of barring access to services for the newly legalized?
This discussion focuses on some of the most difficult issues that must be addressed if the United States is to reform its immigration system in ways that work not only for today’s reality but also tomorrow’s future.