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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid