According to Rabinowitz, of the firm Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, the report released on April 1, 2010, by Congressional Research Services on U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions implies that U.S. policy faces conflicting and still unresolved issues.
Four major principles underlie current U.S. policy on permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees, and the diversity of admissions by country of origin. These principles are embodied in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA specifies a complex set of numerical limits and preference categories that give priorities for permanent immigration reflecting these principles. Legal permanent residents (LPRs) refer to foreign nationals who live permanently in the United States.
During FY2008, a total of 1.1 million aliens became LPRs in the United States. Of this total, 64.7% entered on the basis of family ties. Other major categories in FY2008 were employment based LPRs (including spouses and children) at 15.0%, and refugees/asylees adjusting to LPR status at 15.0%. Over 17% of all LPRs come from Mexico, which sent 189,989 LPRs in FY2008.
“But U.S. Immigration Policy is not working well,” asserts Stewart Rabinowitz, a Dallas-based lawyer of the firm Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, “and neither are efforts to reform it.”
Substantial efforts to reform legal information have failed in the recent past, prompting some to characterize the issue as a “zero-sum game” or a “third rail.”
“The trick is to initiate reforms that balance employer needs by increasing the supply of legally present foreign workers whom the country needs. These include temporary, low skilled, guest workers, and permanent high skilled “best and brightest” workers to keep the U.S. globally competitive while allowing foreign workers to re-unite with their families, and by improving the policies governing immigration comprehensively – and simultaneously,” explains Rabinowitz.
But while state initiated solutions like the controversial Senate Bill 1070 in Arizona have become law to solely address the undocumented population, and an existing federal piece meal enforcement policy such as the somewhat similar 287 (g) program deputizing local and county police to act as immigration officers, neither can be mistaken for an elusive comprehensive policy for immigration reform. Comprehensive reform must address strengthening our borders, creating and implementing a meaningful guest worker program, adequately providing for the high skilled worker needs of the country and deciding upon a policy to address the sizable undocumented population in the country.
“The Arizona law is poorly conceived and sets a dangerous precedent, acting more to polarize and foster discrimination,” Rabinowitz asserts, “and 287 (g) has been an unmitigated disaster, if only from the perspective of documented abuses involving foreign nationals detained by ICE. As far as addressing the significant issues involved, we are still very distant from any sort of comprehensive or meaningful reform. To address competing priorities, some genuine leadership and far-sighted initiatives will be needed, but right now, such a solution seems more like a pipedream,” Rabinowitz concludes.
To learn more about Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C., call 1.972.233.6200 or visit http://www.rabinowitzrabinowitz.com.