NDN Blog

Daily Border Bulletin: Jeb Bush: Pathway To Citizenship Not Needed For Immigration Reform, 5 Reasons Reform Likely, More

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Jeb Bush: Path to citizenship not needed: In a dissapointing development former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Monday comprehensive immigration reform didn’t require a pathway to citizenship, a key plank of the bipartisan Gang of Eight proposal in the Senate.

Top 5 Reasons Why Immigration Reform May Pass: No one would blame supporters of immigration reform if they were pessimistic about the chances of getting a comprehensive bill passed this year. And yet, activists and politicians working on a bill are sounding increasingly confident — even cocky — about their chances. Here are five reasons that the prospects for immigration reform are looking a lot better than they were even a few weeks ago:

Border Is Secure So “Fix the Entire System”: The U.S. border is secure and it is time to move forward on comprehensive immigration overhaul, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told ABC News in an exclusive interview. “My belief is that you need to fix the entire system because, from my standpoint, one of the biggest draws of illegal traffic across the border is the demand for illegal labor,” she said Thursday.

Gang of 8 continue to work hard on immigration bill: Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Sunday he was optimistic the Senate’s bipartisan work on immigration reform could pave the way to other agreements. In an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Durbin said that despite frustration over deadlocked sequester talks, the Gang of 8 could be a model for bipartisan cooperation in the upper chamber.

NDN in The Huffington Post -The Reality of Our Safer Border Makes Immigration Reform Possible

Stop me if you've heard this one: the border between Mexico and the United States is an open highway for undocumented immigrants and before we fix our broken immigration system we must secure our porous border.

Given all of the progress made along our border, crime is down, trade is up, legal movement of people eclipses undocumented migration, it has become increasingly clear that the prism with which our country views a "secure border" is warped. While there has been progress made of course there is more to do. As such it is unsurprising that Republicans are demanding greater investment in border enforcement as a trade off for supporting a pathway to citizenship. As this debate continues to heat up what is really needed is a better understanding of how our southwest border works and what has occurred there over the last decade.

The border works best when it enhances the legal movement of people and goods, not when it stops things from entering altogether. If Congress is looking to add more resources to our southern border, they are not needed in the areas between our ports of entry, but rather at them.

This was certainly the message Marc R. Rosenblum, Specialist in Immigration Policy at the Congressional Research Service presented in his recent testimony before the Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security:

"Since 2002, far more resources have been devoted to enforcement between ports of entry than to enforcement and trade and travel facilitation at ports of entry or work site enforcement. This comparison appears to hold across several different categories of comparison: personnel, appropriations, technology acquisitions, etc. Little is known about illegal flows through ports of entry, or how such flows are affected by tougher enforcement between the ports."

None other then Arizona Senator John McCain has come out and highlighted success at our border. "There is no question that there has been a significant reduction in illegal crossings over the past five years." ...apprehensions by the border patrol have dropped 70 percent from 2005 to 2012." All one has to do is watch this video to see just how little Senator McCain's own constituents actually believe has occurred. Which is unfortunate, if people understood what has actually occurred both on the U.S. side and perhaps more importantly the Mexican side of the border they would not be so skeptical.

Mexico is not the same country it was during the last great undocumented migration into the U.S. Mexico is now the thirteenth largest economy in the world, our third largest goods trading partner and second largest export market. For the first time ever Mexico has a self sustaining middle class. As such there is no longer the urgent need for low skilled migrants to leave the country. The birth rate per Mexican woman has dropped significantly from 7.3 in 1960 to only 2 today. In the end dramatically reducing the number of undocumented migration into the U.S. from Mexico was a simple case of economics.

On the other side of the border the Obama administration has put significant muscle behind our enforcement apparatus. Since 2004, the Border Patrol has doubled in size, making our borders better staffed today than ever before. In 2011, Customs and Border Patrol increased the number of Border Patrol agents to 21,444, an increase of 886 agents from the previous year. The result of all of these developments is that the net migration of undocumented immigrants from Mexico is now zero and the flow into the U.S. from Mexican migrants we saw over the last decade is unlikely to occur in the future.

At the end of the day the strongest border security measure we can possibly have is fixing our immigration system. Giving undocumented immigrants the legal means to come and contribute to our country is the easiest way to prevent them from coming in without documentation. More border enforcement is undoubtedly coming, but this in and of itself is not a bad thing. With a greater understanding of the region, pragmatic investment at our ports of entry we could further enhance the legal movement of goods and people from all over the world. A direct pathway to citizenship is absolutely the preferred option going forward. However If more border enforcement is the only way to get the GOP to agree to a pathway to citizenship, if they are willing to create finite achievable metrics, given the recent transformation we have seen in the region, that may not be the worst thing. For those currently living in the shadows it could be a good thing.

This was originally posted in the Huffington Post here

Daily Border Bulletin- Recent Release of Detainees May Complicate Immigration Reform

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

High-Tech CEOs to use social media to influence immigration debate- CEOs such as Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and John Lilly, former CEO of Mozilla, are organizing a "virtual march" on Washington to convince lawmakers on the Hill to lift the number of H-1B visas, which are currently capped at 60,000 a year.

Republicans call the illegal detainees release sequester propaganda- Ahead of sequestration cuts set to impact the Department of Homeland Security, the GOP claims political gamesmanship with the release of sores of undocumented detainees this week.

Immigration debate in Arizona gets heated- With release of approximately hundreds of illegal immigrats by federal authorities, volatile Arizona is ground zero in the immigration debate.


Daily Border Bulletin- Tech Leaders Plan Virtual Push for Immigration Reform, Labor and Big Business Continue Negotiations

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Tech leaders plan virtual push for immigration reform- High-tech leaders including the former heads of AOL and Mozilla are organizing a “virtual march for immigration reform” aimed at pressuring lawmakers to enact sweeping changes to the nation’s immigration laws.

Labor and big business continue negotiations- One of the most important components of any immigration reform bill will be how the immigration system will be changed to deal with future waves of immigrant workers in manual labor sectors.

Daily Border Bulletin- McCain “Guardedly Optimistic” on Immigration Deal, House Reports Progress on Immigration Reform

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

McCain “guardedly optimistic” on immigration deal- After meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, U.S. Sen. John McCain said Friday that he and other lawmakers working on an immigration overhaul will meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday to discuss the effort to revamp the system.

House reports progress on immigration reform- As the move to pass immigration reform continues, a bipartisan House group reports making “really good progress”  despite missing a target date for an agreement, while multiple senators and congressmen have expressed optimism that legislation will pass.

Daily Border Bulletin- Business and Labor Reach Basic Agreement on Immigration Reform, Latino Support for Obama is Up, and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Business and labor reach basic agreement on immigration reform- In an effort to avert the bitter and public feuding between business and labor organizations that helped kill a broad immigration overhaul in 2007, representatives of the two groups released a statement on Thursday outlining shared goals designed to show that at least for now, they could reach a basic level of compromise.

Latino support for Obama is up- President Obama’s push to overhaul immigration laws this year hasn’t produced a bill yet, but it already has restored his standing among Hispanics.

Goodlatte signals opposition to pathway to citizenship- This week, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee signaled opposition to passing an immigration reform bill that includes a pathway to citizenship.


Daily Border Bulletin- Lack of Immigration reform Threatens Farmers, Arizona Senators Return to Fray on Immigration, and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Lack of immigration reform threatens farmers- Immigration reform that will afford more visas to low-skilled workers and legalize those already here will have a dramatic impact on American agriculture.

Arizona senators return to fray on immigration- The bipartisan blueprint for immigration reform released in January was generally well-received across the country and across ideological lines. However, the reception back home was not nearly as positive, as Sen. John McCain has learned in often-hostile town hall meetings over the past two days.

Poll shows Obama with upper hand in immigration fight- President Barack Obama enters the latest budget showdown with Congress with his highest job- approval rating in three years and public support for his economic message, while his Republican opponents’ popularity stands at a record low.

NDN Statement on House Border Caucus Letter to White House

Today NDN and the New Policy Institute released the following statement on a letter from the Congressional Border Caucus to President Obama:

NDN/NPI’s “21st Century Border Initiative” applauds the new letter from the House Border Caucus Chairmen Reps. Grijalva and Vela letter to the President. It outlines three critical priorities for the US-Mexico border region: more customs agents to increase legal trade and tourism while aiding in critical enforcement needs; more investment in border infrastructure to modernize our aging port system in particular; and better Federal management of the complex economic and security opportunities and challenges of the region.

This smart, modern approach to improving the border will bring more jobs to the US; increase legal flows of goods and people with Mexico, our third largest trading partner; make the implementation of immigration reform easier; and improve the security along the 2,000 mile long border itself.

The recommendations from the House Border Caucus build on the progress made in the border region in recent years. Crime is down along the US side of the border, net migration of undocumented immigrants has dropped to zero, and trade and tourism with Mexico has increased, dramatically. While there are very real challenges in the US-Mexico border region today, things are improving, and with this smart plan even further progress can be made in the years ahead." 

UPDATE: Simon has written up his thoughts on where we are in the current immigration debate in this toughtful Huffington Post essay: The Immigration System Is Better, the Border Is Safer, But More to Do.

Kristian offered his take in his own Huffington Post essay: The Reality of Our Safer Border Makes Immigration Reform Possible.

Daily Border Bulletin- Alliance for Citizenship Pushes for Swift Reform and White House Plan Resembles Senate's

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Alliance for Citizenship pushes for swift reform- A coalition of human rights groups and labor organizations will band together to push for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, starting this week with events in eight states and continuing with a bus tour to 80 cities and a march on Washington, D.C.

Despite Rubio’s claims, White House plan similar to Senate’s- President Obama made his first direct overture to Republicans on immigration Tuseday night, placing calls to the three key GOP players on the issue in the Senate:  John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio.


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