US Southern Border Is in Disarray – But Momentum for Immigration Reform Is Building

Friday, April 12, 2019
By Paul Martin

By James Carafano
April 12, 2019

It might seem odd that in the midst of a border crisis caused by a massive surge of illegal immigration, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., reintroduced a bill to reform the legal immigration system.

But that move wasn’t out of step at all.

America needs legal immigration reform—and not just because the current system is antiquated, leaving the U.S. ill-prepared for immigration in the 21st century. Lawmakers need to demonstrate that they can tackle all the unique aspects of the mess that have combined to make the current crisis possible. They need to gain the trust of the American people that they can, in fact, start delivering sensible solutions.

Cotton’s bill is called the Raise Act. News coverage has focused on the number of legal immigrants it proposes, but that misses the bigger picture. Our entire system needs an overhaul, a shift away from chain migration to a merit-based system. Such a system would strengthen the economy, help create jobs, and reduce the financial burden of immigration on American taxpayers.

My colleagues at The Heritage Foundation have laid out the case for this kind of reform and detailed the key components of a positive legal immigration reform plan. These ideas have legs, and not just with a few members of Congress and conservative think tanks. The White House has also embraced key initiatives to reform the legal immigration system.

Momentum for an immigration reform agenda is starting to build.

In addition to embracing a merit-based approach, Cotton’s bill is smart in that it handles one key aspect of reform as a stand-alone issue, rather than wrapping everything together into one massive Obamacare-style Gang of Eight bill. The latter approach would inevitably—as compromises in big bills usually do—create more problems than it would solve.

The Rest…HERE

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