This Side of Immigration: How Reforming Our Immigration Law Will Make America Stronger

Throughout American history, the crafting and implementation of immigration policies has reflected the politics and migration patterns of the times. The United States (U.S.) began regulating immigration soon after it won independence from Great Britain, with early legislation favoring European immigrants. The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 provided a sweeping change, abolishing the national-origins quota system and allowing the U.S. to accept immigrants of all nationalities.

Today, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, the U.S. is home to more than 61 million immigrants, approximately 11 million of which are here illegally. Immigrants comprise 18.9 percent of our nation's total population, the highest level  in more than a century. And the increase is projected to continue. A Pew Research Center report anticipates that the Hispanic population will rise to 29 percent in 2050 and that the Asian population will triple in that same time frame. Because of these changes, there's once again been a call for various plans to "fix our broken immigration system" - calls amplified by current Democratic and Republican presidential candidates - reflecting American's concerns about refugees, unauthorized immigration, and terrorism.

Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, discusses to the City Club how reforming our immigration laws will strengthen America.

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