2010 Immigration Reform?

Republican and Democratic Senators announce a framework for immigration reform.

March 18th 2010 Senators Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) stated “the American people deserve more than empty rhetoric and impractical calls for mass deportation” in an editorial in the Washington Post. The proposal calls for substantially increased work place enforcement, mandatory biometric information in the form of a new card for all workers and the creation of a program to admit temporary workers.  Requirements are payment of fines, community service, english testing, payment of back taxes and admission of guilt for being undocumented.  It is unclear how many of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants would be able to adjust to a legal status.  The proposals also reinforce the United States policy of favoring immigration for skilled workers.

This effort must be seen in the context of other national political battles, in particular health care reform.  Without compromise on health care reform it is unlikely that comprehensive immigration reform will happen this year.