The U.S. Senate recently approved what is being called the most far reaching immigration reform in decades. The new legislation calls for a three-tiered system offering the possibility of citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants. The bill emerged after a heated bipartisan negotiation and is expected to be the subject of ongoing disagreement as it goes to the House. It has been criticized by those on the right as too akin to amnesty and by the left as too divisive to families.
Conservatives are against providing any road to legalized status for undocumented workers currently residing in the U.S. They feel the current resolution not only rewards unlawful behavior, but also encourages it. Business interests support the measure, however, arguing that without the pool of labor that undocumented workers provide they would be unable to deliver goods and services. Others support legalization as a mechanism to ensure fair treatment of undocumented workers. Should we provide a pathway to legalization to workers without documentation? Is it possible for U.S. business to survive without access to low-wage labor? What truly motivates the anti-immigration movement? Is it really an issue of law and order or is there something deeper at work?
The bill also allows a greater number of visas to be granted to individuals based on their level of education and technical skill rather than on family ties to parents or other relations living in the country. What should take precedence: skills that can help strengthen the U.S. work force or family reunification? What criteria best serves our national interest?
For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.