I’m going to make a prediction that I don’t think is mere wishful thinking: 2013 will be the year that immigration reform finally passes. I (personally) and the organization for which I work (World Relief) have been advocating for significant reforms to our nation’s immigration laws since at least 2006, when President Bush backed a bill that passed the Senate with significant bipartisan support. While I might quibble with a few elements of the bill, I believe that it would fit well within the principles that many evangelical leaders have endorsed as guidelines for legislators, and it would have gone a long way toward accomplishing the three primary changes that I believe any reform ought to do:
- Make it harder to immigrate unlawfully (through enhanced border security and enforcement of employment authorization laws).
- Make it easier to immigrate lawfully, by adjusting our antiquated visa system, tying the numbers of immigrants allowed in to the needs of the labor market, to the goal of keeping immediate families united, and to the national value of offering refuge to those fleeing persecution.
- Create a process by which those who are currently present unlawfully would pay a fine for having broken the law (either by entering unlawfully or by overstaying a visa) and then be allowed to earn the opportunity—if they can show that they have not committed serious criminal offenses, are paying taxes, and are working toward learning English—to eventually become a taxpaying American citizen.
Tagged with: Americans for Tax Reform • bipartisanship • Chicago Council on Global Affairs • Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration reform • Governor Mitt Romney • Grover Norquist • immigration reform • latino • Leith Anderson • Midwest Summit • Mountain West Summit • National Association of Evangelicals • Pew Research Center • Republicans • Southeast Summit • undocumented immigrants • World Relief