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What Is Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

Comprehensive immigration reform typically refers to a set of legislative proposals and efforts to overhaul the current immigration system, which many believe is severely broken.
The proposals generally pertain to the following issues:

  • border security
  • reducing family-based and employment-based green card visa backlogs
  • reforming detention practices
  • legalization of undocumented immigrants
  • worksite enforcement
  • creating new non-immigrant visa worker programs
  • strengthening interior enforcement

Several attempts have been made to pass comprehensive immigration reform as one legislative package but none has succeeded. As a result, some of the proposals are now trying to be pushed through individually. A prime example of that is the DREAM Act, which is now a contentious election-year issue. President Obama in his State of the Union address stated that if Congress can’t agree on a comprehensive immigration reform package (which it can’t), then it should send to him individual bills that he can sign.

Since Trump attempted to suspended DACA in late 2017, immigration reform has become one of the most hotly debated topics in the country. In early 2018, a lack of agreement on a bipartisan immigration reform bill nearly led to a government shutdown. In February of 2018, the Senate took an entire week of open-debate to attempt to build a new immigration bill from the ground up.

The biggest topics in comprehensive immigration reform were boiled down into the Three Pillars of Immigration Reform - partially due to a memo put out by the Trump White House outlining its main points for any comprehensive immigration reform bill. At that time, the three main points of any comprehensive immigration reform bill would have included a resolution for the DACA Dreamers, increased border security and reforms to the legal immigration process. The Washington Post outlined their own version of a bipartisan immigration bill here.

If you have any questions about immigration reform in the United States, please contact us.

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