Immigration Reform: Three Things to Know

January 29, 2013

Immigration Reform: Three Things to Know
Explainer Video
from Video

Following the unveiling of a new immigration plan by a bipartisan group of senators and its subsequent embrace by President Barack Obama, CFR’s Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow Edward Alden offers three reasons why the time may be ripe for a U.S. immigration overhaul:

More From Our Experts
  • Reduced U.S. allure: In the past, immigration reform efforts had failed largely due to fears that amnesty to undocumented immigrants "would be followed with still higher levels of illegal immigration," Alden explains. This is unlikely to happen today because of increased border security and improving economic conditions in Mexico, which have "reduced the allure of the United States," he says.

More on:

Immigration and Migration

  • Improved U.S. enforcement: Efforts to ensure that employers only hire those authorized to work in the United States have become more effective, Alden says. "This would do more than any other enforcement measure to turn off the magnet that attracts people to come here illegally," he argues.

More on:

Immigration and Migration

  • Economic costs of current policy: Current immigration policy is associated with substantial economic costs to the United States, Alden says, and "a more flexible immigration system that responds to labor market demands could give a huge boost to the U.S. economy."

More on:

Immigration and Migration

More on:

Immigration and Migration

Up
Close

Explore More on CFR

Japan

CFR's Sheila A. Smith joins James M. Lindsay to discuss the recent meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Trump. 

Syria

Syria is likely to remain a broken country for years to come. The latest strikes did not change that reality.

Cuba

Miguel Diaz-Canel, set to replace Raul Castro as president of Cuba after sixty years of Castro rule, will be faced with the challenges of implementing economic reform and sidestepping regional isolation.