Can immigration reform be achieved? Review

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Will Congress try to propose an immigration agreement signed by President Trump? This is a problem in everyone's mind, because congressional negotiators are reaching an agreement to avoid a second government shutdown and/or lead to an unprecedented state of emergency announced by the president.

For three decades, the bipartisan deal on immigration has not been a legislator and president. The last large-scale immigration bill was passed in 1986, when Ronald Reagan was president and both Houses of Congress were Democrats. A smaller bill was passed in 1990, when George H.W. Bush was the president and both houses of Congress were still controlled by the Democratic Party.

During the presidency of George W. Bush, the promotion of bipartisan immigration reform was defeated by a failure. Conservative uprising against amnesty For unauthorized immigrants. In 2013, another bipartisan cooperation failed. bill Passed the Senate but never voted in the House of Representatives. Since then, the polarization around this issue will only increase – this phenomenon is not limited to the United States, but also to developed countries around the world. The immigration agenda in Congress last year illustrates the difficulties. Following an immigration bill, three immigration bills entered the House of Representatives. from

Lift the petition threat A moderate Republican advocates the resolution of the status of DACA recipients. Two of them are direct fixes for DACA (one for each party). The third is a thorough, tough reform of the immigration system sponsored by Bob Gudrat (R-Va.), nothing to attract Democrats. None of the three bills passed the House of Representatives.

So what happened in 1986 to the present?

The simple explanation is that it all comes down to Donald Trump's xenophobia. But Trump has raised these tendencies, but they are no strangers to the United States – they are increasingly affecting immigration policies, but they do not reflect the public's attitude. If there is, the number of immigrants in this country will increase over time, not less. When Gallup asked Americans in 1986, “Is immigration should remain at current levels, increase or decrease?” 49% of Americans said they should reduce immigration. When the same question was raised in June 2018 Only 29% said they should reduce.

If the number of people supporting immigration decreased in 1986, why would the Republican and Democratic Congress give amnesty to millions of unauthorized immigrants? In November 1986, President Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act. The Senate voted in favor of the 63-24 meeting bill, and the House of Representatives approved 238-173 votes. The 1986 Act provided that it was illegal for an employer to deliberately employ undocumented aliens and establish a verification and enforcement system. It also confers temporary legal status on those who entered the United States without permission before 1982 and have lived in the country since then. Under the law, these individuals eventually receive permanent resident status, green card status and citizenship. The bill has caused opposition from left-wing and right-wingers to oppose what they call "all-round amnesty." Left-wingers and pro-immigration groups claim that the immigration of immigrants in the country ten years ago became legal "equal to the establishment of serfdom."

The 1986 bill was passed because although there was opposition to immigration, there was also a strong centre supported by the business community, which lobbied the bill to ensure low-income workers flowed into the country. The center in 1986 can balance the strength of the left or right side we see today. Immigration is not a major issue in the 1988 presidential election, but in some congressional elections.

By 2007, the economic and political landscape of this issue had changed. Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have jointly developed a comprehensive immigration bill. However, the dual political influence of the president and the spokesperson is not enough to overcome the new, polarized immigration politics. After the bill was introduced, it never even voted. By 2007, both sides must face the reality they are today: immigrants are already intricately linked to identity issues, vulnerable to tribal politics and less interested in business.

The center has collapsed between 1986 and 2007. The combination of different economic forces, such as new trade agreements and low-cost container shipping, has reduced the traditional share of the business community in immigration policy. Today, companies are more likely to move to cheaper labor than to hire cheap labor in the United States. Professor Margaret Peters elaborated on these potential economic transformations in her book. Trading barriers: the reconstruction of immigration and globalization. Among them, she shows how the business community has evolved over time. Lost interest in immigration debate. She proved the causal chain as follows: “(1) Increased trade openness, corporate liquidity and technological adaptability should (2) reduce the support of enterprises for open immigrants, and then, (3) reduce the support of policy makers for immigrants, ( 4) Cause them to limit low-skilled immigrants."[1]

By measuring the number of companies that testify on immigration issues in Congress, Peters shows that over time, the business community has lost interest in immigration reform – opening this field to nativist groups. “These data show that the reduced support for low-skilled immigrants open to companies and their industry associations has led to nativist groups having similar influence on immigration policies, but not absolute, leading to more restrictions.”[2]

Our colleague William Galston wrote in his book Anti-Plasticism: The Populist Threat to Freedom and Democracy: “When the economic times are good and citizens feel personally safe, tribal sentiment remains low: there is no urgent need to blame each other. However, whether it is a sharp decline or an urgent security threat, these emotions may be activated. When both occur simultaneously, the tribe Splendidism."[3]

For 33 years, the country has turned from a stalemate's ability to reach a consensus on immigration issues to a stalemate. Even after a small agreement was reached that would allow the two sides to keep the government open, the days of major legislation did not show signs of return.

[1] Peters, p. 69.

[2] Ibid., page 90

[3] Ibid., page 77

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