The migratory reform it's the ordinary expression use in political debate concerning changes to the present emigration low in the United State; and means that Politician and citizen are in agreement to review the immigration laws in United State, by amending or removing abuses or fault on it, giving a solution to approximately 12 million immigrants that are in US careless of benefit in this country focusing in better salaries, working environment conditions and working protection, making sure that every worker in the country is treated the same way, and get the same opportunity.
President Barack Obama, is his first year agenda, was willing to include the emigration policy. He was clearly in agreement to promote an immigration reform that allow some way of legalization for all those millions of undocumented immigrants, and give a way out to one of the most critical issue that these country is facing the emigration crisis.
Beside the White House, the reform has the support of many organizations such as UCLA that confirm legalizing immigrants it's the better stimulus plan that we can get, because it creates 4 to 6 billion in tax profit alone, without mention the creation of new jobs and 30 to 36 billion in families wealth that it could create jobs with the purpose of been occupied mainly for native born American citizen.
An overwhelming majority of Americans want practical solutions to our broken immigration system that promote our best values and uphold our traditions as a nation of immigrants and laws. Americans want an immigration system that will be fair and serve the real interests of hardworking taxpayers, workers, employers, and families across America.
There are many difficulties for congress in passing the immigration bill, and this is not surprise for those who has follows this topic throughout years.
Congress' difficulty in passing immigration reform legislation comes as no surprise to those who have followed this issue over the years, especially the debates that led to the seriously flawed Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. Many of the factors that caused IRCA to fail are as prevalent now as they were in 1986. Diverse economic interests, personal biases, and political ideologies make it hard to build consensus for effective immigration policies. These complications are exacerbated by the absence of reliable information about the magnitude of unauthorized immigration and its impact on the American economy and society. Unlike many other policy issues, there are no clear political alignments on immigration, making it difficult to build the coalitions needed to align the complex components of a successful immigration policy.
By the time IRCA was amended enough to pass the Congress, it became very clear to immigration experts that, instead of restricting their entry, IRCA would accelerate the flow of unauthorized immigrants into the United States, which is exactly what happened. Common estimates of the number of unauthorized immigrants in 1986 were between 3 and 6 million; today, estimates range from 10 to 20 million. The networks that give employers a dependable supply of unauthorized immigrant labor are much more institutionalized and difficult to control. If the United States does not get policy right this time, 20 years from now the number of unauthorized immigrants probably will have at least doubled and be even more difficultif not impossibleto control.
That said, however, immigration is not the problem: the United States is and will remain a nation of immigrants, who have contributed greatly to the vitality, diversity, and creativity of American life. Immigrants are particularly important to the U.S. economy, accounting for over half of the workforce growth during the 1990s and 86% of the increase in employment between 2000 and 2005. Because there will be no net increase in the number of prime-working-age natives (aged 25 to 54) for the next 20 years, the strength of the American economy could depend heavily on how the nation relates immigration to economic and social policy.
Unauthorized immigration, on the other hand, subjects migrants to grave dangers and exploitation, suppresses domestic workers' wages and working conditions, makes it difficult to adjust immigration to labor market needs, perpetuates marginal low-wage industries addicted to a steady flow of unauthorized immigrants, is unfair to people waiting to enter the United States legally, and undermines the rule of law. The issue is not immigrants, but their legal status, characteristics, and integration into American life.
Because of its importance to America's diverse and rapidly growing Hispanic population, immigration also has significant political implications. Hispanics' political power is enhanced by their geographic concentration in areas where Democrats and Republicans must contend for national dominance, especially in the Southwest and Rocky Mountain West. This reality was an important component of the political strategy fashioned by George W. Bush and Karl Rove. During his first term, President Bush courted Latinos with a strategy that included speaking Spanish, Hispanic appointments to prominent positions in his administration, and an immigration policy that included a guest worker program championed by Mexican president Vicente Fox. The Bush-Rove strategy was derailed by nativist Congressional Republicans, who adamantly opposed comprehensive immigration reform in favor of exclusive reliance on border security. As Bush and Rove feared, nativist elements in their party provided strong Hispanic support for Democrats in the 2006 elections, as they did in California under Republican governor Pete Wilson. Indeed, resentment toward the nativist pronouncements of anti-immigrant groups is one of the few unifying issues for America's diverse Latino population.
Because of deep international economic and demographic integration, immigration has important foreign policy implications, especially for U.S. relations with Mexico, the source of most unauthorized migrants to the United States. In fact, for many years, Mexican policy has been based on the expectation of heavy migration to the United States. In the 1970s, for example, Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castaneda (the father of former President Vicente Fox's first foreign minister) told us that, whatever we did, the United States would absorb a large part of Mexico's population growth. Many of us who were attempting to formulate policy for the United States did not want to believe that we would have so little control of immigration, but he was right.
Migration clearly is very important to Mexico: it provides a safety valve to compensate for that country's failure to provide adequate domestic jobs for most of its workforce growth, and remittances from the 20 to 25 million Mexicans living in the United States have become second only to oil exports as a source of Mexican foreign exchange. Remittances also are the lifeblood of many rural communities and supplement that country's weak social safety nets. Given Mexico's slow growth and serious structural problems (poverty and inequality; corruption; low tax collections; poor education system; ineffective political checks and balances; inadequate infrastructure development; restrictive business regulations; rigid, antiquated, and inefficient labor market policies and institutions; and the limited capacities of governments at every level), it is unlikely that its citizens will have adequate job opportunities at home anytime soon. What the United States does about immigration, therefore, has important implications for Mexican economic and political developments, with significant positive or negative spillover effects for America.
Since past mistakes can provide lessons for more effective future policies, this report will first explore the reasons for IRCA's failure, including some common myths about unauthorized immigration. This report concludes with an analysis of a comprehensive mix of policies that could serve the best interests of the United States and other countries, especially Mexico.
IRCA's main technical defect was that it did not include a secure worker identity or work authorization system, without which all other control measures were less effective and often counterproductive. This reality was well known to participants in the immigration policy debatesboth those who wanted tighter controls (who lost the legislative contest) and those who favored relatively open migration (who won). In connection with their work for the 1979-81 Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policies (SCIRP), Labor Department experts developed a work authorization process for new hires and job changers that would have made a federal agency, not employers, responsible for verification; the employer's only obligation would have been to verify an identification number the applicant obtained from the federal work authorization agency. Because of opposition from an alliance of open immigration advocates and civil libertarians worried about a national identity card, IRCA opted for an array of easily counterfeited identifiers, permitting a fair amount of fraud, especially in the Act's employment and adjustment-of-status programs, thus accelerating the flow of unauthorized immigrants. IRCA also gave employers responsibility for verifying work authorization documents, a task they had neither the ability nor the will to perform.
To understand why employers lacked the will to screen unauthorized applicants, it is necessary to examine the magnetic relationships between them and unauthorized immigrants. For hard-to-fill jobs, employers often prefer unauthorized immigrants to authorized residents. This preference is due not only to immigrants' willingness to accept lower wages, but also because they are a more dependable supply of labor for these jobs and, because of their limited options, are less likely either to leave or complain to government officials about abuses. Very effective informal immigrant information and support networks give employers a dependable supply of labor. Since 1986, these networks have been strengthened by the spread of relatively inexpensive information technology, especially cell phones and radios. On the workers' side of the employment relationship, jobs which are unattractive to natives not only are much better than those available in their home countries, but also provide a measure of security for immigrants and their families, despite their unauthorized status.
These networks are strengthened and perpetuated by community support groups, home country officials, and employers' investment decisions. Once institutionalized, these bonds are very hard to break and tend to exclude natives from the process.
Myths strengthen the networks
These tight employer-immigrant relationships are reinforced by public attitudes and myths, the most prominent of which is that immigrants only fill jobs Americans won't take, an attitude encouraged by employers, immigrants, and their foreign and domestic supporters to justify unauthorized immigration. The truth is that there are no such occupations: according to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), of 473 occupational titles, only four (stucco masons, tailors, produce sorters, and beauty salon workers) have immigrant (authorized and unauthorized) majorities, and natives hold over 40% of the jobs in these occupations. Like most enduring myths, this one has an element of truth: natives with more options are less willing to take these jobs. But, as noted, once the strong employer-immigrant bonds are established, it is hard for even willing natives to compete for these jobs, thus appearing to confirm the myth.
Those who perpetuate this myth ignore other options that can, and have been used as an alternative to the employment of unauthorized immigrants, including actively recruiting authorized residents; improving management (which often is very bad in low-wage occupations, where the costs of inefficiency are transferred to workers through such practices as piece rates); introducing technology to improve productivity, as was done in California agriculture after the end of the bracero program in 1964; or, obviously, improving wages, benefits, and working conditions.
Another popular misconception is that unauthorized immigration is really not so bad because its negative impacts on natives are small and it improves the competitiveness of the American economy. Again, there is enough truth to this argument to give it superficial plausibility. There are, however, several problems with equating the economic effects of unauthorized and authorized immigration, as some analysts do. For example, studies of the impact of refugeeswho are authorized residents, usually with more human and financial capitalhave been cited as evidence of the beneficial effects of unauthorized immigration. Similarly, authorized immigrants, who tend to have both lower and higher levels of schooling than natives, cannot be equated to unauthorized immigrants with little or no formal education. It is significant that, controlling for other things, authorization improves immigrants' wages.
Economists disagree about the impact of unauthorized immigration on American workers. Some find little or no negative impact,1 while others report large and significant effects. For example, one widely cited study found that for the nation as a whole, between 1980 and 2000 immigrants (authorized and unauthorized) reduced the wages of high school graduates by over 8%, college graduates by almost 4%, and all workers by over 3%.2
A resolution of this controversy is beyond the scope of this paper, but my experience, as well as my studies of the impact of immigration on labor markets, lead me to several conclusions:3
- Much of the controversy among economists is over data and methods. Although there have been improvements, there are no accurate data on unauthorized immigration. There are, in particular, no longitudinal data that follow the same workers through time. Analysts therefore make mistakes when they attempt to reach longitudinal inferences from cross-sectional data. For example, data comparing the impact of immigrants on native wages in metropolitan areas at different dates must account for inter-area migration. This is because competing low-wage authorized residents tend to avoid areas with heavy influxes of unauthorized immigration, while higher wage authorized residents tend to move into those areas. Any inter-city study that did not account for these migrations could conclude, erroneously, that unauthorized immigrants had no negativeor even positiveeffects on native workers.
- As noted, studies that do not distinguish unauthorized from authorized migration are likely to reach erroneous conclusions about the impact of unauthorized immigration.
- Labor market conditions clearly make a difference. The negative immigration effects for low-wage natives will be greater if there is widespread joblessness among native workers who, for reasons noted earlier, could not compete with the unauthorized immigrants even if they wanted to. The magnetic relations between employers and unauthorized immigrants are not likely to be detected by quantitative analyses.
- Whatever the limitations of empirical research, economic theory predicts that natives whose work is complementary to that of immigrants (e.g., managers or skilled workers) will benefit from immigration, but that the wages of those workers who compete directly with immigrants will be reduced. Therefore, public policy should minimize low-wage competition and maximize complementarity.
- Although the magnitude can be debated, there is little question that unauthorized immigration reduces the wages and dilutes the quality of jobs for low-wage domestic workers. It is true, of course, that immigration is not the only factor depressing these wages, but it is a significant one, especially for high school dropouts, whose real wages have fallen by over 16% since 1979 because of immigration, globalization, technological changes, and weaker worker protections. Public policy makers should develop immigration, social, and high-value-added economic policies to enable these workers to maintain and improve their conditions.
Since workers tend to be segmented into non-competing groups, it is useful to examine the impact of immigrants on young and minority workers who compete most directly with them. In a careful assessment of these effects, three Northeastern University labor market researchers permit an assessment of these effects: these analysts found that immigrants who arrived in the United States between 2000 and 2005 (over half56%of whom were unauthorized) accounted for an unprecedented 86% of the net increase in the number of employed persons, displaced native-born workers, and weakened the structure of labor markets.4 The impact was particularly large for young native-born males (16 to 34), whose employment fell by 1.7 million between 2000 and 2005, while the number of young immigrant males increased by 1.9 million. The negative impact was greater for young blacks and Hispanics. These researchers also found that the employment of immigrants was accompanied by a shift in the structure of private labor markets toward more informal employment not covered by unemployment insurance, health benefits, and worker protections.5
The argument that immigration strengthens the competitiveness of the American economy depends on how competitiveness is defined. What many economists mean is that lower wages improve competitiveness because they reduce the price of American products. But, while this is an easy option for employers, wage competition is a losing strategy for workers, communities, and nations: there are always countries with lower wages. For example, the United States is losing jobs to Mexico, which, in turn, is losing jobs to China and other countries where wages are much lower than Mexico's. Moreover, in a high-wage country, wage competition implies lower and more unequal wages, which is exactly what has been happening in the United States since the 1970s. There can be little doubt that growing inequality will weaken democratic institutions, economic performance, and national unity.
It is true, of course, that in a competitive global economy, earnings for similar workers tend to converge. The policy issue, however, is whether convergence takes the form of more rapidly rising wages in developing countries, which would be better for people everywhere, or lower wages in high-wage countries, which will increase inequality and reduce wages for many workers, as well as aggravate national and international tensions.
A better alternative, suggested by the experiences of some East Asian countries, would be for all nations to adopt value-added strategies to compete by improving productivity, quality, flexibility, and innovation. Given this definition, immigration that reduces American wages and perpetuates marginal, low-wage industries does not improve the kind of competitiveness we should encourage.
Immigration policy, therefore, should be designed to give greater attention to increasing the flow of workers whose skills and education are in short supply in the United States. This will not be done by unauthorized immigrants, who are predominantly workers with little formal education and limited English language skills. For example, according to The Instituto Tecnolgico de Mxico, between 1992 and 2002 over three-fourths of unauthorized Mexican immigrants had less than eight years of formal education; 11% had no formal education at all; and one-third had less than four years.6 This is a problem because even low-wage jobs have increasing education requirements.
During the 1970s it was often argued that unauthorized immigrants had positive fiscal impacts because they paid more taxes than the cost of public services they used. This might have been true when most immigrants were mainly