News / USA

Analysts Debate Scope, Direction of US Immigration Reforms

A father and daughter look out on the 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
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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs