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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More