Thursday, September 10, 2009

Immigration round table

I was invited to participate in a round table on comprehensive immigration reform today, with the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Morton. The Obama administration will not pursue reform until next year, but is organizing these meetings across the country to get input on four main issues:

1. Work site protection and workplace enforcement
2. How to address the millions of undocumented immigrants already in the country
3. What an effective enforcement regime would look like
4. How do we decide who gets to come in a future migrant flow?

It was a diverse group, including the mayor, sheriffs from around the region, a state legislator, immigration lawyers, and members of advocacy groups. In general, I was heartened by Secretary Morton's clear interest in reform, as he was active in the failed effort to pass legislation in 2006-2007. The idea is to learn how to get it done right, which obviously is a daunting task. But these types of events demonstrate the commitment to learning more. (Of course, this does not tell us what will be feasible politically!).

As an academic, it is also nice to have the chance to summarize your own research conclusions (for me, it was political demography, which is the central theme of my book) to a high-level policy maker.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP