U.S. Wants Comprehensive Immigration Reform

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The immigration debate is as soon as once again dominating the news as members of Congress focus on the lengthy-neglected issue of fixing our country's failed immigration laws.

American lawmakers are now at a crucial point. Enforcement-only legislation won't operate and hasn't worked. Previous efforts to solve this issue by focusing exclusively on border security have failed miserably.

In fact, in the course of the past decade, the U.S. tripled the quantity of agents on the border, quintupled the price range, toughened our enforcement techniques and heavily fortified urban entry points.

But for the duration of the exact same time period, America saw record levels of illegal immigration, porous borders, a cottage market produced for smugglers and document forgers and tragic deaths in our deserts.

We have to discover from our errors, not repeat them. What we want is comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform that offers smartly with the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living and operating in the U.S.

Most are relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful residents or workers holding jobs that Americans do not want. Individuals currently right here who are not a threat to our security, but who perform hard, spend taxes and are learning English, ought to be allowed to earn permanent residence.

The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, introduced by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and other people, includes the necessary components of reform and offers the basis for fixing our method. It combines toughness with fairness, creating a new temporary visa plan that provides a legal flow of workers.

This "break-the-mold" worker program would drastically diminish illegal immigration by developing a legal avenue for folks to enter the U.S., a thing that barely exists right now. Present immigration laws provide just five,000 annual permanent visas and 66,000 temporary visas for important lesser-skilled workers, in no way meeting mysteries of the rosary the annual demand for 500,000 such workers.

In addition, lowering the decade-long backlog in household-based immigration would reunite households faster and make it unlikely that men and women would cross the border illegally in order to be with their loved ones.

Congress and the administration must act wisely as they weigh their choices. We've had sufficient "speedy fixes" that have created an already unworkable method catholic church supplies worse. We cannot manage our borders - or improve our national security - till we enact advent candles complete immigration reform.

Deborah Notkin is president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. - NU