Jun 8, 2011

Immigration Reality: Enforcing a broken system is doomed to failure

This OpEd by an Oregon immigraton lawyer gets it exactly right.

Illegal immigration: Enforcing a broken system is doomed to failure | OregonLive.com: "The essential contours of the U.S. immigration system were created in 1952. It established quotas and categories -- based on employment and migration patterns in the late 1940s -- that remain virtually unchanged in the intervening 59 years. Periodically, Congress would graft some fix onto the law, but since the fix was always partial and always reactive rather than proactive, the resultant Frankenstein works for no one.

In 1990 and 1996, Congress had opportunities to create a system that truly met the needs of U.S. families, employers and law enforcement. In 1990, Congress was too timid and left the general framework in place, which did nothing to meet the actual needs of U.S. employers. In 1996, it focused almost exclusively on enforcement of a law that was broken decades earlier.

Enforcing a broken system is doomed to failure since the factors that lead to the violations -- including an aging U.S. work force; insufficient U.S. workers for low-skill manual labor; insufficient U.S. students enrolled in collegiate math, science and engineering programs to meet the needs of these industries; etc. -- do not go away just because you punish people who seek to fill those needs."

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