January 30, 2013
President Obama announced Tuesday his support for a comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. This follows Monday’s announcement of a bipartisan Senate agreement that will form the basis for comprehensive legislation to be ready by march.
The Heritage Foundation’s Audrey Beck points out the challenge posed by comprehensive legislation:
The problems in our immigration policy cannot be effectively solved in a comprehensive piece of legislation, because comprehensive is really just a code word for what will be a confusing, complicated, convoluted, and contentious bill that will create as many problems as it purports to solve.
Heritage experts Matt Spalding, Jessica Zuckerman, and James Carafano elaborate this point:
[J]ust as the many aspects and elements of immigration are not all the same and immigrants in this country are not a monolithic block, there is not one comprehensive policy that will deal with all matters all at once. In fact, comprehensive legislation, likely to be written behind closed doors and loaded with measures for special interests, will make the problems it seeks to solve worse. A varied problem, instead, requires varied solutions which address each of our immigration system’s challenges on its own track. America needs a comprehensive approach—not comprehensive legislation.
We must, and we will come up with ways to make immigration better for the United States, as Heritage’s Amy Payne argues:
America’s immigration system must be reformed through an open and public step-by-step, problem-solving approach that unites Americans and creates a system that welcomes immigrants, protects our sovereignty, encourages assimilation, and expands opportunities for everyone.
Earlier this month, Heritage experts laid out some guidelines for effective immigration reform. They include:
- Reform the legal immigration system
- Make immigration more responsive to the needs of the economy
- Reinvigorate interior enforcement measures
- Enhance border security efforts
- Work with state and local authorities to enforce
Our nation’s immigration policy is clearly broken. Do you agree with President Obama’s proposed solution? Tell us in the comments.