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What Purposes Should Immigration Reform Serve?

Depending on who you ask, the last time the United States went through immigration reform was in either 1986 or 2012. This is a matter of political opinion because former President Ronald Reagan enacted a new path to naturalization, while former President Barack Obama implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. While these two legislative actions have played a significant role in the shaping of U.S. immigration policy, they don’t represent true systemic reform. That hasn’t happened since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, and many people believe it’s long overdue.

Three Primary Purposes

Comprehensive immigration reform is supposed to serve three integral purposes: the main one is political, while the other two are related to administration and overall efficiency. In essence, immigration reform aims to reshape the laws and processes that apply to individuals who aren’t born in the U.S. but whose entry and permanent residence in the country have become part of American life. It should be noted that geopolitical analysts consider U.S. immigration policy to be among the most liberal in the world, but these same analysts would also agree the system has been broken for a while and is in dire need of reform.

The political purpose of immigration reform is to ensure the orderly flow of legal immigrants coming into the U.S. for reasons that can potentially improve American life. At the same time, reform seeks to prevent illegal immigration through enforcement, diplomacy, and international cooperation programs. The administrative purpose of reform is the one most immigration attorneys agree should be tackled first because the system has been in disarray for decades. The efficiency-enhancing purpose of reform would be to improve the system for the benefit of various sectors of society. 

Setbacks & Solutions

Pragmatic lawmakers who have previously attempted to push immigration reform in Congress have stumbled at the political level. In 2013, a bipartisan collective of eight U.S. Senators, most of them senior legislators, failed to implement the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act because of a political wrench thrown into the bill’s engine that ultimately allowed it to expire.

Along with gun control, immigration reform is one of those idiosyncrasies of American politics that manage to become hot-button issues each time Congress tries to do something about them. This explains why President Joe Biden hasn’t included such legislative proposals in his agenda. Instead, Biden has signed a series of executive orders that aim to correct and improve the work of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. San Diego immigrants are understandably concerned about the backlog of petitions and applications at USCIS, which can be alleviated to a great extent without the need to pass comprehensive immigration reform. This can be done internally through adequate management, rulemaking, and resource allocation. At some point, internal attempts at reform fall short if there isn’t enough funding, and this is when legislative actions are needed for appropriation and to increase the budget accordingly. 

In this turbulent political environment, hiring a highly qualified immigration attorney is one of the best ways to make the immigration process less complicated and stressful. The best plan of action for immigrants in Southern California is to seek the advice and representation of KS Visa Law, the best immigration attorneys in San Diego, CA. Give us a call today at 858-874-0711 to find out how we can help.

May 2024