Whoever becomes the next President of the United States will have to cope with a growing amount of pressure to take action on the governance of immigration rights and admissions. The latest volume of the First Year Project, the nonpartisan effort from the University of Virginia Miller Center, was released yesterday and offers advice on realistic options.
The November 2014 Presidential election is the first time in half a century that immigration has been such a major concern for Americans. While many attribute the concern to Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, the controversial real estate magnate seems to have simply tapped into growing concerns that often make immigration so contentious, including economic dislocation, obvious party differences and an increase in the foreign population in the country.
The number of foreign born immigrants in the United State has now reached 14 percent, the highest since early in the twentieth century thanks to a wave of immigration coming from Asia and Latin America, particularly Mexico, in the last fifty years. Whoever wins the Presidency later this year will face the challenge of a divided electorate, many of whom believe immigration reform is about civil rights, but many others believe immigration is the cause of the social and economic ills of the nation, according to Anna O. Law, a political science professor at Brooklyn College.
The author’s papers all warn the next President against the kind of unilateral pursuit of immigration reform that has proven so controversial for President Barack Obama, saying that such measures rarely satisfy even supporters but also invite sanctions by being constitutionally suspect.