Comparing the Proposals of 2013 Reform of the United States on Illegal Immigration // mcpblog

by Shushanik Makaryan


This policy brief compares shortcomings and strengths of two proposals for immigration reform that were put into public debate in the United States in February 2013 –one by a bi-partisan group of democrat and republican senators, and the other by President Obama. Both proposals identify and focus on four immigration policy priorities for the USA– (a) improvement of border control, (b) control on employers hiring illegal migrants, (c) earned citizenship to those migrants already in the country, and (d)  promoting a legal migration policy. Yet, neither proposal mentions any simplification of obtaining permanent residency or citizenship for  already legal migrants in the USA. Both proposals also fail to elaborate what integration mechanism should ensure that migrants retain their legal status and not become marginalized in the US society. These challenges confirm that stricter border control policies in Europe should be paired with facilitated visa travel and mobility regimes for migrants to prevent migrants from seeking illegal alternatives of travel. Visa facilitation initiatives are a good starting point, but not enough. To combat undocumented migration, the integration of migrants at destination countries and at sending countries is as important as creating flexible visa regimes for travel.

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