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TOP 10 MIGRATION ISSUES OF 2005
Issue #3: US Immigration Reform Moves Forward
US President George W. Bush speaks to reporters about immigration reform during a visit to the El Paso Border Patrol Sector, US Border Patrol Headquarters in November 2005.
President George W. Bush put immigration reform on the national agenda in
January 2004 by outlining his general plans for a temporary worker program.
But last year, the main reform proposal, the Democrat-sponsored Safe, Orderly,
Legal Visas and Enforcement (SOLVE) Act, died in committee.
This year, however, members of Congress have sponsored numerous reform proposals
that have pushed the debate forward and generated significant media coverage. In late November, Bush renewed attention to immigration reform with speeches in Arizona and Texas in which he stated his support for both increased border enforcement and a temporary worker program.
The McCain-Kennedy "Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act" in
the Senate and the Cornyn-Kyl "Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration
Reform Act" in the House are the best known proposals, but new bills
continued to be introduced nearly every week as the fall progressed. Some
analysts expect the White House to make December "Border Security Month."
Many of these bills use the president's temporary worker plan as a base,
though none perfectly reflect the Bush administration's vision as articulated
by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Secretary
of Labor Elaine Chao in recent testimony before the US Senate in October.
Of course, events such as the Minuteman Project, which involved citizen patrols
along the Arizona-Mexico border in April, the declaration of states of emergency
by the governors of New Mexico and Arizona in August, and illegal immigration
as a campaign issue in the Virginia governor's race have all helped keep
immigration reform on the national agenda.
Even if none of the current proposals become law, immigration reform will
be issue number one starting again in early 2006.
For more information, please see the following articles:
• Solving the Unauthorized Migrant Problem: Proposed Legislation in
• The Declining Enforcement of Employer Sanctions
• IRCA: Lessons of the Last US Legalization Program
• The Mexico Factor in US Immigration Reform
• Bush Puts Immigration Reform Back on Agenda, Approves Funding for
• Immigration Reform Bill and DHS Restructuring Focus on Enforcement
• Free Flights and New Enforcement Proposals Address Unauthorized Migrants
• Expansive Bipartisan Bill Introduced on the Heels of REAL ID Passage
• Bush Proposes New Temporary Worker Program
• Policy Brief - Lessons from the Immigration Reform and Control Act
• Insight - Independent Task Force on Immigration and America's Future:
- Reflections on Restoring Integrity to the United States
Immigration System: A Personal Vision
• Chart - Comparison of Major Immigration Legislation Pending in 109th Congress
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