February 02, 2010

FOCUSING ON THE SOLUTIONS: Future Employment-based Immigration Flow

February 1, 2010

Washington D.C. – Today, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) releases the final in its series of “Solutions Papers,” Future Flow: Repairing our Broken Immigration System. The perennial question of how to regulate future employment-based immigration flows has been, by far, one of the greatest sticking points in the immigration reform debate. In 1986, lawmakers passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) in an attempt to reign in undocumented immigration through heightened worksite and border enforcement, combined with legalization of most undocumented immigrants already in the country. Unfortunately, IRCA failed to address the fact that immigrant workers would be needed in the future, and the lack of future flow mechanisms resulted in a large unauthorized immigrant population.

Policymakers now have the opportunity to realistically assess our future employment-based immigration needs. This includes permanent and temporary visas, high-skilled and low-skilled workers. Many people agree that our current legal immigration flow is drastically out of sync with America’s labor needs. If the U.S. is to thrive in the globalized 21st century economy, employment-based immigration must be seen as a strategic resource that can both meet labor market needs and foster economic growth and competition while still protecting U.S. workers and improving wages and working conditions. This paper lays out the key principles for future employment-based immigration flows within the context of comprehensive immigration reform.

To read the paper in its entirety, see:
Future Flow: Repairing our Broken Immigration System
(IPC Focusing on the Solution series, February 2, 2010)

To read other papers in the series, see:

Family Immigration: Repairing our Broken Immigration System
(IPC Focusing on the Solutions series, January 15, 2010)

Enforcing Immigration Laws: Repairing our Broken Immigration System
(IPC Focusing on the Solutions series, December 8, 2009)

Naturalization and Integration: Repairing our Broken Immigration System
(IPC Focusing on the Solutions series, December 4, 2009)

Employment Verification: Repairing our Broken Immigration System
(IPC Focusing on the Solutions series, November 12, 2009)

Earned Legalization: Repairing our Broken Immigration System
(IPC Focusing on the Solutions series, November 5, 2009)

Breaking Down the Problems: What’s Wrong With our Current Immigration System
(IPC Special Report, October 21, 2009)