Congress Passes Border Bill – What’s next for Immigration reform?

After some procedural stumbling, today the U.S. Congress passed a $600 million immigration enforcement supplemental appropriations package for additional border enforcement funding through the fiscal year 2011. The package was sponsored by a group of senators and representatives who had previously insisted on holding the line for a comprehensive approach to immigration reform. Having taken an enforcement-first step, the leader of that group, Senator Charles Schumer, said “Hopefully colleagues on both sides of the aisle will [now] come together and we can pass comprehensive reform”.

Any effective, long-term solution to the immigration problem must: 1) require the undocumented population to come out of the shadows and earn legal status; 2) ensure that American businesses are able to hire the workers they need to help grow our economy while protecting U.S. workers from unfair competition; 3) reduce the unreasonable and counterproductive backlogs in family-based and employment-based immigration by reforming the permanent immigration system; and 4) protect our national security and the rule of law while preserving and restoring fundamental principles of due process and equal protection.