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Council on Foreign Relations State and Local Officials Bulletin
January 2012

Immigration Update: “U.S. Border More Secure Than Ever”

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Immigration reform remains a hot topic in the 2012 presidential race. Watch CFR's Edward Alden discuss the candidates' need for moving beyond an enforcement-only approach in dealing with illegal immigrants.

According to Alden, "the border is more secure than ever. The problem remains however, what do you do with the settled illegal migrant population in the United States?" Alden estimates this population to fall between ten and eleven million, and postulates: "These are people who are not likely to leave, and the policies that are necessary to drive them out of the country are harsh and unproductive."


Spotlight: “Renewing America”

Keep up on U.S. economic competitiveness through CFR's Renewing America blog. Topics of debate include: debt and deficits, infrastructure, education and human capital, corporate regulation and taxation, innovation, and international trade and investment. Follow the Blog »

U.S. Economy: Tools, Tractors, and Technology, Oh My!

CFR Fellow and budget expert Peter Orszag writes: "Despite widespread concern about weak business investment, companies have been pouring money into equipment and software--everything from tools and tractors to word-processing programs." According to Orszag, investment in these sectors is likely to remain a bright spot in the U.S. economy in 2012. Read more »

Slashing America's Defense: A Suicidal Trajectory

CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot argues that cuts to defense spending could devastate the U.S. armed forces, causing more damage to their fighting capacity than any external enemy. Read more »

Foreign Affairs eBook: “The Clash of Ideas”

This special eBook collection draws from the archives of Foreign Affairs to trace, in real time, the great debates that defined the twentieth-century and are molding the twenty-first. Also featuring contemporary essays, this intellectual narrative explains how and why modern politics look the way they do, and where we go from here. Visit Foreign Affairs »



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The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.

About CFR's State and Local Officials Initiative

The CFR State and Local Officials Initiative seeks to serve as a resource and forum for bipartisan discussion on pressing international issues that affect the priorities and agendas of state and local governments, including the economy, trade and competitiveness, homeland security, public health, immigration, and energy supply and climate policy. For more information, please contact Amy Cunningham, assistant director for the National Program & Outreach, at 212.434.9848 or

About the State and Local Officials Portal on

CFR's State and Local Officials Portal,, is a resource and forum for discussion on international issues of local importance. This webpage serves as a guide to CFR's best materials on the topics that matter most to state and local officials and their constituents. In addition to a wide range of CFR materials—including work from the think tank, interviews with experts, meeting transcripts, and new backgrounders—users will find analysis and documents from other sources that have been carefully selected by the website's editorial staff for their relevance and quality.


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