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ISSUE DELIBERATION MATERIALS:

International & Foreign Policy

Issue guide - Immigration in America: How Do We Fix a System in Crisis? (updated edition, 2013)

published: 2013

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Updated for 2013

The following excerpt is taken from the issue guide, Immigration in America: How Do We Fix a System in Crisis? (updated 2013) The 12-page issue guide presents three options for deliberation.

Immigration in America: How Do We Fix a System in Crisis?

The costs and benefits of immigration have always been debated. But as we work our way out of a tough economic recession, some wonder whether newcomers, especially those arriving illegally, are compromising our quality of life, taking jobs away from those already here, and threatening our security and sovereignty as a nation...

The question facing Americans today is how to create a system that meets our diverse needs--a system that values the role immigrants play in society, takes heed of today's economic and legal responsibilities, and keeps us strong and competitive in the future.

To promote deliberation about immigration reform, this guide presents three options, each built on a framework of ideas and information drawn from studies, speeches, interviews, books, and public policy proposals.

Option One: Welcome New Arrivals
A rich combination of diverse cultures is what defines us as a people. We must preserve our heritage as a nation of immigrants by shoring up our existing system while also providing an acceptable way for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently living here to earn the right to citizenship.

Option Two: Protect Our Borders
Failure to stem the tide of illegal immigration undermines our national security, stiffens competition for scarce jobs, and strains the public purse. We need tighter control of our borders, tougher enforcement of our immigration laws, and stricter limits on the number of immigrants legally accepted into the country.

Option Three: Promote Economic Prosperity
To remain competitive in the 21st-century global economy, we need to acknowledge the key role that immigrants play in keeping the US economy dynamic and robust. This option favors a range of flexible measures, such as annual adjustments to immigration quotas, that put a priority on our economic needs.

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