News / USA

    Analysts Debate Scope, Direction of US Immigration Reforms

    A father and daughter look out on the "All in for Citizenship" rally calling for an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws, Capitol HIll, Washington, DC, Wednesday, April 10, 2013. (Photo by Kate Woodsome)A father and daughter look out on the "All in for Citizenship" rally calling for an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws, Capitol HIll, Washington, DC, Wednesday, April 10, 2013. (Photo by Kate Woodsome)
    x
    A father and daughter look out on the "All in for Citizenship" rally calling for an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws, Capitol HIll, Washington, DC, Wednesday, April 10, 2013. (Photo by Kate Woodsome)
    A father and daughter look out on the "All in for Citizenship" rally calling for an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws, Capitol HIll, Washington, DC, Wednesday, April 10, 2013. (Photo by Kate Woodsome)
    Pamela Dockins
    A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is expected to announce a proposal in the coming days to overhaul the nation's immigration system.

    Lawmakers are said to considering provisions that would relax visa requirements for some foreign workers, increase security on the borders and set terms that would enable immigrants who have illegally lived and worked in the country for years to become U.S. citizens.  

    Analysts disagree over what changes should be enacted to address issues related to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

    Lia Parada is the legislative director of America's Voice, a group that backs comprehensive immigration reform. She told VOA's Encounter program the current status of undocumented immigrants is unacceptable.

    "It is no longer acceptable to have 11 million people living in this nation under the shadows, being paid under the table," she said.

    Center for Immigration Studies policy analyst Jon Feere agreed that change is needed, but said those changes should not include reforms that could potentially hurt American workers.

    "Jobs are scarce. There are about 27 million Americans with a high school degree or less who are unemployed, and I think that those people are going to find it very problematic that the federal government is providing work permits to people who do not belong here at a time when Americans can’t find jobs," said Feere.

    He said what is needed is more emphasis on enforcing the immigration laws that are already on the books.

    "Our immigration enforcement has been rather lackluster and we’ve seen increases in illegal immigration since 1986, during the first large-scale amnesty," said Feere.

    Parada disagrees. She said the U.S. has done a good job enforcing current immigration laws.

    "The assertion that we are not enforcing our laws is completely false. In 2012, we spent $18 billion taxpayer dollars on federal immigration enforcement," said Parada.

    President Barack Obama won re-election last year with more than 70 percent of the Latino vote. Both Democrats and Republicans now see immigration as a key issue for attracting voters.

    Parada believes the momentum behind the issue could lead to passage of a sweeping immigration reform bill this year. Feere, however, said a more narrowly focused bill is more likely to pass.

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Robila Kate from: Tx
    April 16, 2013 6:15 AM
    The proposed immigration reform bill is doing injustice to those who are in the United States in student visa. The law breakers are being legalized and given pathway to citizenship, but there is nothing for international students who are legally in the US and have completed university degrees in areas other than STEM like MBA and Accountancy. Can anyone say what would new bill would to international students who have completed are completing university degree maintaining their legal status.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.