Immigration Reform Explained
Time and again, you've heard the phrase "immigration reform," but what exactly does it mean? When people talk about wanting immigration reform, they seek a change to the current immigration laws. Those immigration laws are set out in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In very basic terms, when someone says they want immigration reform, they want to amend the INA.
What is the Immigration and Nationality Act?
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is the basic body of immigration law. Before the INA was created in 1952, a variety of statutes governed immigration law but were not organized in one location. Immigration reform bills to amend the current INA have been introduced into Congress in recent years, but none of these bills, however, have made it through Congress.
What is Comprehensive Immigration Reform?
Comprehensive immigration reform favors giving a citizenship path to the 12 million undocumented immigrants already here while simultaneously putting policies into effect to discourage future undocumented immigration. These policies often include increased border security and employer sanctions for the hiring of undocumented immigrants.
The Conservative Opinion on Immigration Reform
While most conservatives have no problem with immigrants, there are conflicting opinions about illegal aliens. Conservative opinions are as complex as the issue itself.
The Liberal Opinion on Immigration Reform
Liberals aim to help immigrants emerge from the shadows of America. Like the African slaves set free by Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, this heavily Latino underclass of unskilled, poorly-paid U.S. workers would be freed from unequal treatment as a human beings.
Latest Developments in Immigration Reform
A new Administration brought new hope to those desperately seeking immigration reform. While it's unlikely that we'll see immigration reform legislation before the end of 2009, discussions are moving forward.
President Obama Launches Immigration Reform - Friday, June 26, 2009
The long-awaited immigration reform meeting between President Obama and members of Congress finally took place. President Obama said the meeting was "very productive" and listed border security, employers using undocumented workers, and recognition and legalization of undocumented workers as key issues. "My administration is fully behind an effort to achieve comprehensive immigration reform," the President said, adding that the people at today's meeting want to start working on immigration reform immediately.
Pelosi Ready For Immigration Reform Debate - Thursday, June 25, 2009
While President Obama and Congressional leaders come together today to talk about comprehensive immigration reform, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi discusses her commitment to bringing that debate to the floor. The plan, according to Pelosi, has always been to let the Senate go first, but she is willing to allow the date on the House floor and excited for it to begin.
Immigration Reform Summit Tomorrow - Wednesday, June 24, 2009
After a few false starts, President Obama's much-anticipated immigration reform summit with House and Senate lawmakers is on track for Thursday, June 25th. Senator Schumer will provide his seven guiding principles for comprehensive immigration reform that he intends to introduce in Senate later in the year.
Obama Offers Immigration Reform Promises and Little Else - Friday, June 19, 2009
President Obama speaks at the 2009 Esperanza National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. He reiterates his commitment to the Hispanic spiritual and community leader attendees but is vague on the timeline and offers no new details on his plans for immigration reform.
That's Two, Mr. President - Friday, June 12, 2009
Hopefully President Obama is familiar with the phrase, "three strikes and you're out." Immigration reform meetings are postponed for a second time with no hint of a rescheduled date.
Obama Reschedules As Everyone Pushes Forward on Immigration Reform - Thursday, June 4, 2009
Scheduling conflicts cause Obama to postpone his first immigration reform discussion just as a national campaign launches to push immigration solutions for 2009.
UAFA Senate Hearing Set For June 3rd - Friday May 22, 2009
A landmark moment for lesbian and gay binational couples who want to ensure that their families are part of the immigration reform discussions.
Does Obama's 2010 Budget Spell Disaster for Immigration Reform? - Friday May 8, 2009
A budget focused on border security and immigration enforcement causes some concern.
Unions Unite For Immigration Reform - Thursday, April 16, 2009
America's two largest labor federations unite to support a push for comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
Immigration Reform Legislation on the Horizon - Friday, February 20, 2009
The immigration reform debate of 2009 began with a comment made by President Obama during a Spanish-language radio show.
Read about President Obama's views on immigration reform on the next page.