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Immigration Reform Is Happening

by Renewing America Staff
July 15, 2014

Immigration reform Murietta refugee vigil William Bello, 16, listens to speakers at a vigil in support of refugee children and their families in Murrieta, California July 9, 2014 (Lucy Nicholson/Courtesy Reuters).


In a new piece for Foreign Policy, CFR Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies Shannon O’Neil argues that, despite federal inaction, immigration reform is happening at the state and local levels. In 2013 alone, 45 of the 50 state legislatures passed over four-hundred immigration-related laws and resolutions. O’Neil notes that although a small number were bills that made life more difficult for undocumented immigrants, many others were designed to integrate them more easily into local communities. However, while this push is having real and positive effects for local economies, the wider immigration problem cannot be solved without federal action, she explains.

Post a Comment 2 Comments

  • Posted by Allan Wendt

    This article confuses legal with illegal immigration by implying that it doesn’t really matter whether an immigrant enters the country legally or illegally, that all immigrants are fine people and should be welcomed with open arms etc. The author seems to equate immigration reform with letting those who enter the country illegally stay in the US indefinitely.

    Far more useful to Council members would be an honest, balanced discussion of our current immigration policy–or lack thereof–and whether or not it serves the national interest.

  • Posted by Shelley Ashfield

    Mr. Wendt,
    You may believe you are an educated person, but it’s pretty clear you haven’t had very much experience or contact with the immigration system in this country. Yes, it does matter whether an immigrant enters the country legally or illegally. But the issue becomes further muddied when immigrants enter the country legally, but fail to maintain documentation. And it becomes even more muddied when one sees the various legal ways to gain status that have little to do with what is honest, what is ethical, or what is moral. I am the ex-wife of a green card holder, Mr. Wendt. I know.

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