An important report was released today that calls for an overhaul of the broken immigration system. The difference in this report, however, is the emphasis on the need of a legal immigration reform, instead of focusing overwhelmingly on the illegal immigration issues.
An Independent Task Force, co-chaired by former Florida governor Jeb Bush and former White House chief of staff Thomas “Mack” McLarty, released this report:
“The stakes are too high to fail,” says the report. “If the United States continues to mishandle its immigration policy, it will damage one of the vital underpinnings of American prosperity and security, and could condemn the country to a long, slow decline in its status in the world.”
The bipartisan group concludes that illegal immigration is causing damages to U.S. national interest, and is a problem that must be addressed. But in order to do that, the broken legal immigration system must be fixed:
“no enforcement effort will succeed properly unless the legal channels for coming to the United States can be made to work better.” Therefore, “the U.S. government must invest in creating a working immigration system that alleviates long and counterproductive backlogs and delays, and ensures that whatever laws are enacted by Congress are enforced thoroughly and effectively.”
The authors also made several concrete proposals:
The report urges an end to the hard caps on employment-based immigrant visas and skilled work visas in favor of a more flexible system, the elimination of strict nationality quotas, and new opportunities for foreign students earning advanced degrees to remain in the United States after they graduate.
The 168-page report may be downloaded as a PDF document, or ordered online.