Authors: Jagdish Bhagwati and Francisco Rivera-Batiz
Even if immigration reform managed to get through congress, it would do little to stem illegal immigration or improve the plight of the undocumented. So policymakers should shift their focus to a more humane, bottom-up approach: letting states compete for illegal immigrants.
"In a noticeable and important shift in global migratory patterns, millions of migrant workers are no longer relying on the U.S. as heavily as they did for better-paying jobs that allowed them to send money home to families in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. Instead, they have moved more to developing economies, creating a shift in money transfers out of countries like Chile, Brazil and Malaysia."
"Though the overall number of arrests along the southern U.S. border has fallen near its lowest point in 40 years, there has been a surge of unlawful newcomers from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador since 2011."
On July 10, 2013, President Barack Obama's National Economic Council, Domestic Policy Council, Office of Management and Budget, and the Council of Economic Advisers released a report on the "range of benefits to the U.S. economy that would be realized from passage of commonsense immigration reform, and the high costs of inaction."
CFR Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow Edward Alden and CFR Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies Shannon O'Neil talk to CFR.org Editor Robert McMahon about border security and U.S. immigration policy.
Immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship would have sweeping effects on the lives of the estimated eight million undocumented Hispanics living within the United States. But it would not have an acute, immediate effect on U.S. politics.
Edward Alden testifies before the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on how Congress and the Obama administration can use data to improve the effectiveness of border enforcement policies and tactics.
Immigration has been an important element of U.S. economic and cultural vitality since the country's founding. This interactive timeline outlines the evolution of U.S. immigration policy after World War II.
"Flows of migrants and refugees influence and change the social, economic and political dynamics of their destinations -- and the places they have left behind," writes the Inter Press Service on human migration. In the United States, politicians are saying they are committed to reform of the U.S. immigration system. Immigration Research Links provides resources for news, legislation, statistics, organizations, and reports on immigration.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.