Sunday, October 03, 2010

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010

No immigration bill will pass this year, but Senators Robert Menendez and Patrick Leahy have introduced S. 3932, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010  It is not on Thomas yet, but here is a preliminary copy of the 874 page behemoth along with a handy summary.

The bill provides a good starting point.  Among many other things, it has a temporary worker program, including a new category of temporary worker, that both protects their rights and remains flexible according to the U.S. labor market; it has extensive enforcement; it ensures immigration policy remains a federal prerogative; and it offers a rigorous pathway to legality for those currently in the U.S. illegally.

What also struck me, though, was a focus on U.S.-Latin American relations, which means a welcome recognition that we cannot pretend to live in a vacuum.  Tucked into the second to last section is the following:

STRATEGY ADDRESS FACTORS DRIVING IMMIGRATION.—The Secretary of State, working with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall subsequently submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, a strategy which responds to the identified economic, social and security factors driving high rates of irregular migration from the prioritized countries identified. The strategy should incorporate consultation with the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State, the Department of Labor, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

And then make specific recommendations:

Recommendations for future United States Government assistance and technical support to address key economic, social and development factors identified in the prioritized migration source countries. Such assistance should be designed to ensure appropriate engagement of national and local governments and civil society organizations.

Good.  Of course, knowing what drives immigration does not necessarily mean you can come up with programs to slow it down.  However, a full understanding of those "push" factors is critical for making immigration reform work properly.  Working with Latin American governments, even at the local level, should be part of any reform bill.


Slave Revolt,  9:59 PM  

Please, the US should change course dramatically when it comes to Latin America.

The pattern has is distinct: when governments seek to control compador elites, and develop independent of US control, these nations are destabilized, vilified, hounded, and even invaded.

The US knew that NFTA would increase economic despair, and that immigration would increase.

The US will not allow or tolerate policies that alleviate poverty in any meaningful way, nor will the US be the progenitor of such policies. But there is always endless rhetoric to convince the gullible that the US understands and "cares". Rhetoric is cheap.

What is required is for Latin America to delink from the US, and for the people of the US to realize the damage that has been done in the process of realizing it's goals in the region.

The US cannot adequately provide security, education, and healthcare for it's own citizenry. These people, the leaders of the US, are the last people that should be giving policy advice the the nations they have hobbled for decades on end.

Their best thinking is evident in the present condition of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Please, US, stay away from everyone. Seek psychiatric help, take care of your own house, and make it a goal to pay reparations for the millions of people you have killed and maimed.

Deformed children are born every year in Vietnam from your crazed and cynical use of chemical weapons on the brave people of that country--and similar problems are happening in Fallujilah, Iraq.

The people of the Americas are already moving beyond your cruel ideology and sadistic tutaledge.


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