Victims of persecution who make it to the United States and are granted asylum from their persecutors must wait 12 years to become lawful permanent residents and 16 years to become U.S. citizens because of arbitrary numerical caps and federal mismanagement. This state of affairs not only is inhumane, but undermines the original intent of Congress to help those who have escaped persecution to integrate quickly into U.S. society.
The new Department of Homeland Security divides into three separate agencies immigration functions that previously were combined. This reorganization raises questions about who is in charge of immigration policy as a whole and how immigration services will fare in a department heavily tilted towards enforcement.
Policymakers in states from Iowa to Utah and in cities from Albuquerque to Boston have realized that immigration is a key source of long-term economic vitality, particularly in urban areas experiencing population loss, shrinking labor pools and growing numbers of retirees. Immigration, if properly cultivated, can be a key ingredient in urban economic development and recovery.
Increased repression by the Castro regime and limitations on the admission of Cubans into the United States create the risk that desperate refugees will look for more dangerous, unauthorized means of escaping persecution. The Bush administration must reform immigration policies towards Cubans to forestall such a crisis.
The 1996 welfare reform law barred most lawful permanent residents of the United States from receiving many of the public benefits their tax dollars help to fund. Benefit restrictions have increased food insecurity and reduced access to health insurance for both legal immigrants and their U.S.-citizen children, while failing to significantly reduce government healthcare expenditures due to the high costs of caring for the uninsured.
After September 11th, efforts to reach an immigration accord with Mexico came to a halt. As a result, the Bush administration continues a poorly conceived border-enforcement strategy from the 1990s that ignores U.S. economic reality, contributes to hundreds of deaths each year among border crossers, does little to reduce undocumented migration or enhance national security, increases profits for immigrant smugglers, and fails to support the democratic transition that the administration of Vicente Fox represents for Mexico.
Some of the restrictive policies toward non-citizens implemented after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 – particularly those affecting visa processing and others targeting Muslims and Arabs – may undermine U.S. foreign policy in the long term. According to foreign policy experts, these policies risk damaging U.S. relations with the international community without enhancing national security.
Remittances – money immigrants and foreign workers send abroad to their families – exert a key positive influence on the global economy, concludes a new report by the World Bank. The report carries implications for everything from U.S. policies on temporary workers to international development assistance.
As American troops, including many immigrants, are now engaged in military action in Iraq, the Immigration Policy Center has updated its fact sheet about the role and participation of immigrants in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Americans are rightfully proud of our nation's higher education system. Scholars come to the U.S. from all over the world and we have historically educated many of the world's leaders. But the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have created new challenges that threaten our position as the premier higher education destination in the world.