Immigration Reform by gabyion


									 Immigration Reform

       Your Voice Counts!
             Dorrit Marks
Member LWVUS Immigration Study Committee
           November 2007
        Shaping immigration policy
      U.S. employment needs
• American workers entering market place
  just replace workers retiring
• U.S. economic growth plus replacement of
  retiring baby boomers open (est.) 56m
  jobs between 2002-2012
• Domestic supply does not meet demand,
  U.S. needs 1.5m more workers each year
• U.S. admits, only, 1m legal immigrants
  annually—shortfall, 500,000
              Dorrit Marks, League of Women   2
                 Voters - November 2007
           Shaping immigration policy
      Undocumented: cost/benefit
Undocumented increase U.S. competitiveness; lower the
  costs consumers pay for goods and services
• Low wages, reduced costs, raise company profits which
  can be invested in factories, facilities and create jobs
• Undocumented rent (or buy) homes, purchase furniture,
  clothing and pay sales tax
• Many workers pay social security & income taxes
• State and local tax burden—undocumented attend
  schools, families use of health services
• The cost to states is about $200 more for undocumented
  than native-born families
• Costs and benefits not well allocated—federal
  government gets more benefits
• Should federal government reimburse States and local
  governments?       Dorrit Marks, League of Women         3
                      Voters - November 2007
          Shaping immigration policy
        Global interdependence
• Expanding international trade, investment and
  information foster migration
• Disparities in living standards and increase in
  U.S. labor needs sustain migration
• Mexico needs 1.3m new jobs each year—40%
  of those 15-24 cannot find a job
• Millions cross the border seeking work
• U.S policies can improve job opportunities in
  ―sending‖ nations
• Interdependence reflected by $60 billion sent to
  Latin America & Caribbean (2006) by workers

                 Dorrit Marks, League of Women       4
                    Voters - November 2007
        Shaping immigration policy
Family reunification- immigration rules
• Under current law preference given family
  reunification (families of citizens)
• Legal permanent residents (green card
  holders) families have to wait years for
  entry visas
• Green card holders enter without families
• Should legal entrants be admitted with
  family? (U.S. lottery system winners come
  in with family)
               Dorrit Marks, League of Women   5
                  Voters - November 2007
         Shaping immigration policy
    Economic/business interests
• Should preference system be changed and
  preference given to high-skilled immigrants?
• Nation needs scientists and engineers
• Businesses need high-skilled to be competitive
• Large backlog for foreign worker authorization
• U.S. faces ‗reverse high-tech brain drain‘ if
  green card applicants seek work in other

                 Dorrit Marks, League of Women     6
                    Voters - November 2007
          Shaping immigration policy
 How to deal with undocumented?
• Encourage undocumented to come forward,
  adjust status (Issue permits to 12 million without
  path to citizenship—Sen. Arlen Specter)
• Security is enhanced if we know who is here
• Should undocumented be deported? Mixed
  families—citizens, legal permanent residents,
  undocumented, children all in one household
• Who should enforce law—customs officials,
  border patrol, local police, employer human
  resource departments?
                  Dorrit Marks, League of Women        7
                     Voters - November 2007
         Shaping immigration policy
     Deal with unauthorized entry
• Build fence at Mexican border—technological
  surveillance, sensors (2000-mile border)
• Canada border (5000 miles)
• Add personnel to control land borders—cost?
• Increase staff (ICE –Immigration Customs
• Expand US – Visit program to monitor arrivals (and exit)
  of temporary non-immigrant visa holders
• 40 percent of unauthorized immigrants enter with legal
  visas and overstay their visa
• Combine with tough, verifiable employment process

                    Dorrit Marks, League of Women            8
                       Voters - November 2007
            Shaping immigration policy
  Identifying unauthorized workers
• Employers determine eligibility of employees—verify
  Social Security numbers and face stiff penalties
• Verification is difficult—cards are not reliable
• Intentional violation by employer difficult to prove
• Should all residents be required to have a secure
  identification card, like social security card, passport?
  Does National ID raises question of privacy?
• Effective Dec 2009 ―Real ID law‖ requires state drivers‘
  licenses be issued based on verifiable information—a
  photo ID, documentation of birth and current address,
  and proof of Social Security number

                     Dorrit Marks, League of Women            9
                        Voters - November 2007
         Shaping immigration policy
          Values and Culture
• U.S.—a nation of immigrants
• Cultural diversity adds vitality, innovation
• Immigrant ethnic identity, language (and
  culture) create concern and barriers
• 70 % of Americans want more restrictions
  to protect way of life from foreign
  influence, 75 % favor tighter border control
  (2007 Pew Global Attitudes Survey)
               Dorrit Marks, League of Women   10
                  Voters - November 2007
          Immigration Reform
• Adjust annual allotment of employment
  visas to balance supply with demand
• Let legal immigrants enter with immediate
• Create a temporary worker program to
  meet seasonal or fluctuating needs
• Institute effective identification with secure
  biometric identifiers to facilitate employer
                Dorrit Marks, League of Women   11
                   Voters - November 2007

To top