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The New GOP Immigration Principles: A Historic Shift

by Edward Alden
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) speaks at his news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington January 16, 2014 (Yuri Gripas/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) speaks at his news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington January 16, 2014 (Yuri Gripas/Courtesy Reuters).

The decision yesterday by House Republicans to release a broad set of principles for immigration reform may or may not lead to successful legislation this year. There are still many political and substantive hurdles to overcome to reach a bipartisan deal. But regardless, the announcement should be recognized for what it is – a huge and consequential change in the Republican Party’s approach to immigration reform. Read more »

How to Win Over GOP on Immigration

by Renewing America Staff

Though many declared the Senate’s immigration bill dead on arrival in the House, Edward Alden writes that prospects for big bipartisan agreement may not be out of reach. For CNN.com, he writes that to get across the finish line, both parties should emphasize areas of agreement, not waste time on those who won’t vote for reform, emphasize that this bill will outlast the Obama administration, demand performance accountability, and prioritize the issue of the undocumented population.

A Fine Start on Immigration Reform

by Edward Alden
Members of the Senate "Gang on Eight"--Dick Durbin (R-FL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC)--are pictured during a news briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss their proposed immigration bill (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters). Members of the Senate "Gang on Eight"--Dick Durbin (R-FL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC)--are pictured during a news briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss their proposed immigration bill (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters).

The immigration bill introduced in the Senate this week – all 844 pages – is not a perfect piece of legislation. But it is the most serious effort in many years to create an immigration system that would better serve U.S. economic needs, strengthen the rule of law, and enhance security. Read more »

Update on the CFR-Sponsored Independent Task Force Report on U.S. Immigration Policy

by Renewing America Staff

After the failed attempt to overhaul the U.S. immigration system in 2007, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) sponsored a report by the bipartisan Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy, chaired by former governor of Florida Jeb Bush and former White House chief of staff Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty, which was released in July 2009. Read more »

Immigration Reform: Five Years Later, Five Big Challenges

by Edward Alden
A Student Immigrant Movement rally to support the DREAM Act on September 20, 2010 (openmediaboston/Flickr). A Student Immigrant Movement rally to support the DREAM Act on September 20, 2010 (openmediaboston/Flickr).

It has been more than five years since the last congressional effort at comprehensive immigration reform dissolved in acrimony. Since that time, the U.S. government has deported nearly 2 million unauthorized immigrants; a weaker economy and tougher border enforcement resulted in arrests of illegal crossers at the border with Mexico dropping from more than 850,000 to 327,000 annually, the lowest since the early 1970s; and skilled immigrants, facing long waits for green cards as well as the diminished opportunities of a weaker economy, are no longer coming to the United States in the numbers they once did. Read more »

Morning Brief: Why We Need an Immigration Debate

by Renewing America Staff
A woman leaves the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices in New York on August 15, 2012 (Keith Bedford/Courtesy Reuters). A woman leaves the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices in New York on August 15, 2012 (Keith Bedford/Courtesy Reuters).

With less than eighty days before the U.S. presidential election, columnist David Rohde argues that immigration is the most important issue Obama and Romney are not debating (TheAtlantic). While both candidates propose policies to address other economic issues, immigration seems to make an appearance only to placate each candidate’s supporters. As Mayor Bloomberg’s chief policy adviser put it: “I think the campaigns each want to play to their bases and are ignoring mounting evidence that shows immigration should be part of our economic policy.” Read more »

Policy Initiative Spotlight: Seeking an Immigration Infusion

by Edward Alden
Baltimore, Maryland (Flickr/Ian Freimuth). Baltimore, Maryland (Flickr/Ian Freimuth).

In this Policy Initiative Spotlight, Renewing America contributor Steven J. Markovich looks at recent efforts undertaken by Baltimore and other cities to attract immigrants. He argues that while efforts like these could be crucial in combating near-term population decline, the central challenge for local leaders lies in laying the groundwork for economic growth. Read more »

Morning Brief: Immigration’s Economic Benefit

by Renewing America Staff
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce forum on reforming the high skilled immigration system of the United States in September 2011 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce forum on reforming the high skilled immigration system of the United States in September 2011 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg argues that immigration reform can foster growth (Bloomberg). Cities with larger foreign born populations enjoy stronger credit ratings, revitalized neighborhoods, and higher per-capita incomes. High skilled immigrants are more likely to start a business and can increase productivity and job growth; STEM professionals create an average of 2.62 U.S. jobs each. While reform remained stalled in the United States, nations such as Germany and South Korea are easing restrictions to attract global talent. One particular area of concern for U.S. competitiveness is the relative low level of employment visas; only 7 percent of U.S. green cards have an economic rationale. Read more »

PBS’s “Homeland”: A Must-Watch on Immigration Policy

by Edward Alden
Children line up to perform in a Cinco de Mayo celebration in Beardstown, Illinois (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters). Children line up to perform in a Cinco de Mayo celebration in Beardstown, Illinois (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters).

In a presidential election year, it’s almost impossible to find any balanced and nuanced analysis on an issue as volatile as immigration. So it’s tremendously refreshing to watch the new, three-hour PBS documentary series, “Homeland: Immigration in America,” which begins airing across much of the country this week. The episodes will also be available on a website created for the program, at www.explorehomeland.org. Read more »

Obama, Romney, and Immigration: The Indefensible Status Quo

by Edward Alden
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush shakes hands with then-U.S. Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio in Coral Gables, Florida in November 2010 (Hans Deryk/Courtesy Reuters). Former Florida governor Jeb Bush shakes hands with then-U.S. Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio in Coral Gables, Florida in November 2010 (Hans Deryk/Courtesy Reuters).

No one expects any congressional action this year, or probably anytime soon after that, to end the enormous waste of the current immigration system. But it is becoming increasingly obvious that the leaders of both parties are in a morally indefensible position. And that makes positive change more likely than it’s been in a long time. Read more »