The U.S. Needs Comprehensive Immigration Reform

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Executive Summary It has been nearly three decades since the last time Congress reformed our immigration system. From the Reagan era to the Obama administration, the country has undergone financial, social and political changes yet our immigration policies continue to be the same. Since the implementation of the last immigration reform in 1986, the United States government has spent nearly $187 billion ($220 billion when adjusted to 2013 dollars) in immigration enforcement agencies and programs alone (Meissner, Kerwin, Muzaffar & Bergeron, 2013). The high costs and the increasing public concern has led Americans to recognize the brokenness of our current immigration system and how it has not kept up with changing times. Research has shown 71% of Americans say undocumented immigrants should have a pathway to remain in the country legally (Pew Research Center, 2013). Although Congress and the White House have had numerous failed attempts to pass immigration reform in the past, H.R. 15 proposes an updated bipartisan system that can further secure the borders and solve problems surrounding immigration (Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, 2013. A new immigration reform will stimulate economic growth, nurture innovation, secure borders, strengthen families, and build flexibility in immigration law. This policy brief discusses how the passage of H.R. 15 will benefit the United States of America while also examining the need to reform our current immigration system. H.R 15 was purposefully written by the National Democratic Caucus to accommodate the views from the Democratic and Republican Party; thus, allowing room for compromise. Figure 1: Survey by Pew Research Center 03/... ... middle of paper ... ...ed from Peri, Giovanni, and Chad Sparber. 2009. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1(3): 135-69. Pew Research Center. (2013). Most Say Illegal Immigrants Should Be Allowed to Stay, But Citizenship Is More Divisive. Retrieved from United States. National Economic Council. Domestic Policy Council. President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Office of Management and Budget. (2013, July). The Economic Benefits of Fixing our Broken Immigration System by the Executive Office of the President. (Research in brief) Retrieved from White House (Producer). (2013, June 24). What You Missed: Vice President Biden Answers Questions on Immigration Reform [Video file]. Retrieved from

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