Bipartisan Policy Center Releases Policy Recommendations to Advance Immigration Debate
On August 15, 2013, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), a non-profit policy organization headquartered in Washington, DC, released a report of policy recommendations for revitalizing the initiative to enact comprehensive immigration reform. The BPC’s Immigration Task Force, co-chaired by former Secretaries Condoleezza Rice and Henry Cisneros and former governors Haley Barbour and Ed Rendell, based the report, entitled Room for Consensus: A Statement by BPC’s Immigration Task Force, on four key areas of concern: controlling the flow of unauthorized immigration, legalization and citizenship, legal immigration, and the economic impact of reform.
To address the issue of unauthorized migration, the BPC recommends establishing new border-security metrics subject to the review of an independent commission. This measure, the task force believes, would enable the federal government to accurately assess the flow of unauthorized immigrants into the U.S. and promote government accountability. In response to public concerns about the consequences of broad-based citizenship and legalization initiatives, the report recommends that undocumented immigrants who pay all required penalties, pass a criminal background check, and fully comply with the terms of a legalization program be allowed to apply for citizenship, provided that legal immigrants receive priority in this area (with the important exception of DREAM-eligible persons). Furthermore, the report reminds its audience that economic immigration must be balanced with family and immediate-relative immigration, and that temporary worker programs should adequately serve employers while also protecting foreign national and U.S. workers.