In New Jersey, where there are some 525,000 undocumented immigrants, a resolution by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano of Elizabeth that would make immigrants who are not authorized to be in in the country eligible to get driver's licenses, passed unanimously last week.
Under the bill, New Jersey would be required to issue photo "driving privilege" cards to those residents who are unable to prove that they were in this country legally but are capable of establishing that they live in the state.
"It's about public safety," said state Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), a sponsor. "Some of the undocumented are driving anyway. This isn't to excuse the fact that they're undocumented. But they're on the roads. They're driving. Many uninsured."
A similar but less extensive bill was presented in the Assembly in 2006 and reintroduced in 2008, but it never progressed and never presented in the Senate.
Presidential hopeful , Governor Chris Christie has made it certain that such a proposal would be dead on arrival: "'I'm not giving driver's licenses to people who are undocumented. That's it,' Christie said flatly, speaking on his monthly radio show on New Jersey 101.5."
Several states, such as Puerto Rico included, currently offers driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.
Notwithstanding the problems in getting the state to issue driving privileges to its undocumented immigrants community. New Jersey is the latest major U.S. city to promote a municipal identification program that will be available to all residents, including those who may have come to the U.S. illegally.
Mayor Ras Baraka signed City Council-approved legislation that makes Newark the largest and lone city in the state to offer ID cards to all residents, regardless of their immigration status.
The program offers all Newark residents aged 14 and older a valid ID card that will grant them access to vital services the city has to offer. It will be especially useful for people in the community such as those with disabilities, youth, seniors, clergy, formerly incarcerated individuals, the homeless, immigrants and transgender people.
The ID program will:
* Serves as proof of identity and proof of residency regardless of immigration status
* Access to cultural Institutions and schools and within the City
* Discounts at the Health and Wellness Center
* Helps residents who do not have access to other forms of identification to interact with city agencies, local authorities and open bank accounts
The Newark Municipal ID cards a pilot program commences on July 1 and then open citywide on August 1.For more information about the municipal ID program, visit: http://www.ci.newark.nj.us/.
New York 4/13/2015 - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared today that an alliance of cities and counties filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Texas vs. United States lawsuit in favor of President Obama’s executive orders and petitioning the Court to immediately carry out President Obama’s executive orders on immigration.
Bill de Blasio and his counterpart, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti coordinated Cities United for Immigration Action, by rallying support of cities and counties across the United States. They were joined by the National League of Cities and U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Obama’s executive actions, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) would suspend deportation for approximately 5 million people.
According to the group the argument in the “friend-of-the-court” brief is that by blocking the implementation of the orders would result in serous injury to local governments, is not good for families, destroys current law enforcement priorities and stops “desperately needed changes” to federal immigration policy.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the “continuing to delay implementation of the President’s executive action on immigration hurts our economy and puts families at risk…cities are where immigrants live, and cities are where the President’s executive action will be successfully implemented. Our cities are united, and we will fight for the immigration reform this nation needs and deserves – whether in the courtroom, in Congress, or in our communities. Make no mistake about it: our voices will be heard.”
A significant number of cities and counties aligned themselves with today’s brief are situated in states that originally commenced the lawsuit against the Obama administration or have clearly supported the lawsuit. These cities and counties include five cities in Texas, six in New Jersey, three municipalities in Wisconsin and two counties in Arizona, and. The cities and counties that signed on to the brief are listed below.
Central Falls, RI
Chapel Hill, NC
Coconino County, AZ
Dallas County, TX
El Paso County, TX
Highland Park, IL
Jersey City, NJ
Kansas City, MO
Little Rock, AR
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County, CA
Lucas County, OH
Montgomery County, MD
New York, NY
Niagara Falls, NY
North Miami, FL
Ramsey County, MN
Salt Lake City, UT
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Santa Ana, CA
Santa Cruz County, AZ
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Monica, CA
St. Louis, MO
State College, PA
Travis County, TX
West Covina, CA
National League of Cities
U.S. Conference of Mayors
U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney said “I applaud Mayor de Blasio for working with cities across the nation to support President Obama’s executive actions on immigration”
State Senator Leroy Comrie of New York said “ Not only is it in our best interest to immediately implement the President's platform for immigration reform, but it is the socially and morally responsible thing to do.”
The Obama administration is caught up in a tangle of lawsuits that should decide the fate of the President’s sweeping executive actions on immigration. So far this week, the administration has received both good and bad news.
On Tuesday Texas District Court Judge Andrew Hanen, responding to a motion by government attorneys to reconsider the injunction that is temporarily halting the President’s executive orders, therebye allowing the immigration measures to move forward.
As anticipated, the judge’s response was to reaffirm the injunction. Judge Hanen has made many statements to the press indicating that he is infuriated with the administration’s failure to inform him, that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) programs had already extended work authorization to 3 years from the prior 2 years.
The judge maintained his previous decision to enjoin ( temporarily freeze Obama’s immigration executive actions.) Obama’s executive order announced this past November. The Order would provide temporary legal status and protection from deportation to as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants. Following the Judge’s denial of the motion to reconsider, the case now heads to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, for arguments next week.
In what seems to be an improbable coincidence, the same 5th Circuit court, on the same day, issued a ruling on another immigration executive order case. This decision concerned Obama’s first executive action on immigration, announced in 2012 called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. The conservative-leaning bench dismissed an objection to DACA because it found that the state of Mississippi, which brought the lawsuit did not have the legal standing to sue the federal government.
This decision indicates that the Obama administration may yet be successful in continuing with the executive orders of 2014.
In a lengthy decision, Judge W. Eugene Davis opined that neither the agents nor Mississippi “demonstrated the concrete and particularized injury required to give them standing to maintain this suit.”
This case is important for a many reasons. The latest group of executive orders currently under attack in the federal courts were shaped by the 2012 DACA program. DACA has endured other legal contests in the courts. The administration is hopeful that a similar decision will be reached next week. Legal experts, throughout the United States, are of the opinion that due to the reason that Mississippi was defeated as an excellent sign for the president’s immigration measures. In this case, Mississippi argued similarly to Texas, that that the state would suffer considerable costs directly associated with the execution of DACA. The Court did not agree and found Mississippi without standing.
For Immediate Release
Unprecedented Coalition of Elected Officials, Advocates, Law Enforcement, Business Groups
Ask Appellate Court to Reverse Texas Ruling Blocking President’s Immigration Initiatives
April 7, 2015
Washington D.C. - The Texas federal district court order that blocked parts of President Obama’s executive action on immigration was based on unproven or incomplete presentations to the court and should be reversed, civil rights and immigration advocates argue in an amicus (“friend-of-the-court”) brief in the case of State of Texas v. United States. Texas and 25 other states have sued the federal government to stop the implementation of initiatives that will provide temporary relief from deportation, but advocates maintain the President’s actions are legally sound.
Multiple legal briefs defending the deferred action initiatives were filed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals by a range of advocates, leaders, and elected officials. One of these briefs was filed on behalf of more than 150 civil rights, labor, and immigration advocacy groups, led by the American Immigration Council, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
Briefs were also submitted to the court by 15 states and the District of Columbia, 73 mayors, county officials from 27 states, 181 members of Congress, and 109 law professors, law enforcement, faith and business leaders. These briefs discuss the economic and community benefits that will result from expansion of the successful DACA program and the new DAPA initiative for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
“Collectively, the parties in these filings represent more than half of the foreign-born population in our country, which means they have a demonstrated track record of producing inclusive immigration policies,” noted Marielena Hincapié, NILC executive director, during a telephonic press briefing announcing the briefs. “We are confident that we will win because the law is on our side. But we also know that the wheels of justice often move slowly. In the meantime, our message to eligible immigrants and their families is to be patient, continue gathering the necessary documents to apply, save up for the application fee, and don’t lose faith," added Hincapié.
“We are undeterred and we will continue in this campaign [to realize the start of the DACA and DAPA programs]," added Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. An early signer of the amicus brief by local officials, the mayor said the filing before the appellate court by mayors and counties has twice as many signers as an earlier brief submitted to the Texas district court. Citing the economic and community benefits that would come from allowing immigrants to come out of the shadows, Mayor Hancock added, “This is about our communities. This is about working with those who have chosen to call our cities ‘home.’”
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-CA, said the legal filing by 181 members of Congress argues the Texas court overturned Congress’ decision to give the executive branch authority to set immigration enforcement priorities.
“What the court has done is not only an affront to what the executive has done [in setting priorities] and to the authority we have – well-grounded in law and in precedent – but also an affront to what Congress has done,” Lofgren said. “There are millions of people living in fear, who have made our economy and lived here for decades, whose lives have been turned upside down by an erroneous ruling.”
Some states claimed that the administrative relief will harm them, but the legal briefs argue the judgment was incorrect.
“That is incorrect. The states have to show irreparable harm to get a preliminary injunction; they have not,” Noah Purcell, solicitor general in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office told reporters. “The president’s directives are good for states; they are not harming states.”
The human aspect of the case also was highlighted during press call.
“Although I was disappointed by the news that a federal district judge blocked implementation of DACA expansion, I was not disillusioned,” said Jong-Min You, an immigrant from New York who would be eligible for relief under DACA expansion. “I know that eventually, I will be able to come forward and apply for relief from deportation and work authorization, and I’m not the only one. Other elder Dreamers, along with their parents and millions of others, are ready for the legal battle ahead and for the legal battle to end so that we can finally move forward.”
Rocio Saenz, SEIU international executive vice president, said advocates for expanded DACA and DAPA will never give up.
"The plaintiff states and Republicans who support this lawsuit can ignore the will of their own constituents and immigrants' contributions, but we will continue to defend the immigration action in the courts. We will continue to fight for immigration reform. We will continue to inform future applicants and make sure that when the time comes – and it will come – that every eligible person applies for the immigration action. We are and will continue to send a strong message to the naysayers, to Republicans who stand in the way of progress: We are not the enemy. But we are ready – ready to fight back, ready for the immigration action, and ready to vote,” Saenz said.
“Amici and the government are clearly on the right side of the law, and we are confident that a stay [of the Texas order] will be granted, hopefully by the Fifth Circuit, one day very soon,” said Melissa Crow, legal director of the American Immigration Council.
A recording of press call can be downloaded at http://nilc.org/document.html?id=1222.
On November 21, 2014, President Obama issued two Presidential Memoranda clarifying his previous broadcast of the executive actions on immigration, known as the "Immigration Accountability Executive Actions." These memos establish further directives for assimilating immigrants and refugees into the American society, as well as directives for updating and reorganization the visa procedures. The following is a summary of the family related components of the President's declaration, the other aspects of the memos will be discussed in Part II:
1. Enlarging the DACA membership. The present Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be modified as follows: The existing age cap (31 as of the date of the original DACA publication) has been removed and the eligibility cut-off date by which an applicant is required have been in the United States will be changed to January 1, 2010 as opposed to the original June 15, 2012 date. In other words, no age cap. DACA and work permission will be permitted for 3 years. The new three-year time period applies to pending DACA renewal applications.
USCIS anticipates beginning to accept DACA applications under the modified program within 90 days of November 20, 2014.
2. Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). USCIS will create a new deferred action procedure, comparable to DACA, for individuals who (1) have a U.S. citizen or LPR son or daughter (of any age) as of November 20, 2014; (2) have been continuously present in the U.S. since before January 1, 2010; and (3) were physically present in the U.S. on November 20, 2014 and are present at the time of requesting DAPA. All applicants are required to pass background checks and must not be labeled as an enforcement priority under the new memorandum.
DAPA will be granted for a three-year period.
USCIS anticipates that it will begin to accept DAPA applications within 180 days
of November 20, 2014.
Enforcement Priorities (these individuals will not qualify for these executives orders, except under certain circumstances)
a. Priority 1: Threats to national security, border security, and public safety. This includes suspected terrorists, people captured at the border, intentional gang participants (as well as those who were convicted of a gang- related offense), and convicted felons (excludes state/local status-related offenses).
b. Priority 2: Misdemeanants and new immigration violators. This includes individuals convicted of a "significant misdemeanor" or three or more misdemeanors arising out of three separate schemes (excludes traffic and status-related violations); people who entered unlawfully after January 1, 2014; and people who have "significantly abused" the visa or visa waiver programs.
c. Priority 3: Other immigration violations. Those who have been issued a final order of removal on or after January 1, 2014.
3. Extension of the Provisional Waiver Program. The USCIS will enlarge the I-601A provisional waiver application process. Currently, only immediate relatives (spouses and children of U.S. citizens and parents of adult U.S. citizens) who can demonstrate extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent are entitled to apply for a provisional waiver. USCIS will "expand access to the provisional waiver program to all statutorily eligible classes of relatives for whom an immigrant visa is immediately available. This action would seemingly include any family-based preference category beneficiary with an approved I-130 and a current priority date who can establish "extreme hardship" to a citizen or LPR spouse or parent.
This I-601A Provisional waiver will be set up by regulation. No specific time frame is stipulated.
Currently establishing extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen spouse is difficult at best as there are no concrete guidelines. Therefore adjudicators receiving cases with similar fact patters, make different decision.
Under the memo USCIS must provide guidance on the definition of "extreme hardship" that will clarify the elements that are considered in determining whether the "extreme hardship" standard has been met. USCIS is also to consider criteria by which a presumption of extreme hardship may apply. If this actually takes place processing of these cases will be easier and less expensive to the immigrant and family.
Learn more about immigration law: apsanlaw.com
Source : AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14112446. (Posted 11/24/14)
On November 20, 2014, President Obama broadcasted a series of executive actions for immigration relief.
There are three sections I will discuss in this article.
Expanding those eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to young people who came to this country before turning 16 years. Now more people will be eligible.
* Allows an individual born prior to June 15, 1981, to apply for DACA
* Requires continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010, not prior to June 15, 2007 as originally required
* Extends the deferred action period and employment authorization to three years from the current two years.
Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been present in the country since January 1, 2010, to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, , provided they pass required background checks
Currently, only spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens are allowed to apply to obtain a provisional waiver. Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
When will USCIS begin accepting applications related to these executive initiatives?
USCIS expects to begin accepting applications for the expanded DACA program and the Parents program and the new I-601A waiver approximately 90 days after the President's November 20, 2014, announcement; and
What should you do while USCIS is not accepting applications.
Individuals who think they may be eligible for one or more of the new initiatives may prepare now by assembling documentation that establishes the basic elements such as their:
2. Relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and
3. Continuous residence in the United States over the last five years or more.
For more information go to Apsanlaw.com and Drmoises.com
TONIGHT PRESIDENT OBAMA WILL EXPLAIN HIS NEW IMMIGRATION POLICY
The TV program VOCE e A Lei, on SIC International Portuguese TV and Vejatv.com will feature a special show this evening at to discuss President Obama’s New Program.
Dr. Moises Apsan and Luis Pires will host the program.
Find out :
· If you or your family will be included;
· What will the process look like;
· How long should it take;
· Will you receive a work permit? Permission to travel?
· What happens if you have received an order for deportation?
Learn the answers to these questions and more.
THIS WILL BE A LIVE CALL IN SHOW.
You can see is on SIC International Cable stations and also on vejatv.com though the internet.
Don’t forget to attend. This will be a historic event.
New York -- Tomorrow, November 19, 2014 at 8 p.m. EST, at a televised speech positioning the plan. President Barack Obama will reveal the much-expected immigration plan, Thus, altering the rules for deportations that could touch millions of undocumented immigrants and simultaneously beginning an unpredictable clash with Republicans.
Obama's executive orders are expected to eliminate the danger of deportation for as many as 5 million of the estimated 11 million people residing illegally in the United States. This executive action is a noteworthy step for a president notorious for having deported thousands of illegal migrants.
According to sources, the Obama administration is contemplating increasing the group of undocumented immigrants who would qualify for deferred deportations by using principles such as permanency in the United States and family ties. Parents in the country illegally but who have children who are U.S. citizens are almost certain to qualify, the sources said. More in question is whether undocumented parents of so-called Dreamers -- many of whom have been shielded from deportations under a 2012 administration policy -- would qualify as well.
In a video on the White House Facebook page, Obama said "What I'm going to be laying out is the things I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem...Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken. Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problem to fester for far too long," ..."And so what I'm going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as President to make the system work better, even as I continue to work with Congress to encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem."
At a dialogue on immigration Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Obama would act "in the coming days."
Johnson defended the idea of Obama acting unilaterally, saying he believes the president has "a fairly wide latitude within existing executive authority to fix the system."
"It can't be that we're not allowed to lift a finger to fix the broken immigration system until Congress acts," Johnson said. "Well, we've been waiting for Congress to act. It can't be that we're not allowed to take action in a number of respects to reform the system. And we will. And we've identified a number of ways that we will."
In fact, Congress has indicated which aliens may be removed from the United States and the procedures for doing so. Aliens might be removed if they were inadmissible at the time of entry, convicted of certain crimes, or meet other criteria set by federal law. Removal is a civil, not criminal, matter. The principal feature of the removal system is a broad discretion exercised by immigration officials. Federal officials, as an initial matter, must decide whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all. If removal proceedings commence, aliens may pursue asylum and other discretionary relief allowing them to continue in the country or at least to leave without formal removal.
It looks like President Obama is singing an old Paul McCartney tune:
|"I've had enough
I can't put up with any more
No no no no no no no
I've had enough
I can't put up with any more
No no no no no no no"
And maybe he finally means it. During a recent news conference President Obama emphatically said that "Before the end of the year, we're going to take whatever lawful actions that I can take that I believe will improve the functioning of our immigration system, ... What I'm not going to do is just wait."
According to today's CNN's headline "Obama to announce 10-point immigration plan via exec action as early as next week" and Fox news announced that a source close to the White House told them that President Obama plans to reveal as early as next Friday, a plan which would shield 5 Million Immigrants from deportation by applying executive action .
A centerpiece of the order permits many parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents to obtain legal work credentials and would take away the constant fear about being discovered, alienated from their families and deported.
It appears that the Obama plan could have an effect on as many as 3.3 million people who have lived in the United States illegally for at least five years. However, the White House is also thinking about a stricter policy that limits the benefits to people who have lived in the country for at least 10 years, or about 2.5 million people.
Moreover, extending protections to more undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, and to their parents, could affect an additional one million or more if they are included in the final plan that the president announces.
This section would expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which, Obama created in June 2012. The program was a lifesaver for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, entered before June 2007 and were under 31 as of June 2012. The modification would enlarge the dates to include anyone who entered before they were 16, and the cut-off would change from June 2007 to Jan. 1, 2010. This is projected to make nearly 300,000 illegal immigrants eligible.
Mr. Obama's executive action actions will also enlarge opportunities for immigrants who have high-tech skills, move extra security resources to the nation's southern border, overhaul a controversial immigration enforcement program called Secure Communities, and provide clear guidance to the agencies that enforce immigration laws. Clarifying who should be a low priority for deportation, such as those with strong family ties and no serious criminal history.
A new enforcement memorandum will make clear that deportations should still proceed for convicted criminals, foreigners who pose national security risks and also, recent border crossers.
Perhaps this forceful action by the President will push the recalcitrant republicans to work on a true comprehensive immigration reform law. One that will resolve the ongoing problem for the millions of other undocumented immigrants that do not have close ties to a U.S. citizen, but have contributed favorably to our country for many years.
If Ronald Reagan were alive today, he probably would have cringed when he realized that his own party, the Republican Party, has been blocking the way for a comprehensive immigration reform. A law that our country is in desperate need, not only to resolve the issue of 15 million undocumented immigrants, but also to help kick start the return of an economically robust economy.
In fact Reagan would probably abhor the way many conservative republicans have been handling the immigration reform debate and would be worried about the eventual demise of the Republican Party, caused by the stranglehold of anti-immigrant conservatives. Regan, similar to Obama, fundamentally saw America as a land open to immigrants that believe in the “American Dream.” In November 1979 when announcing his candidacy for the presidency Reagan proposed a treaty allowing for full freedom of movement for all workers throughout North America. Even as far back as 1952 when the US immigration policy was still controlled by the very restrictive Immigration Act of 1924, Reagan gave a speech embracing nearly unlimited immigration:
“I . . . have thought of America as a place in the divine scheme of things that was set aside as a promised land . . . [A]nd the price of admission was very simple . . . Any place in the world and any person from these places; any person with the courage, with the desire to tear up their roots, to strive for freedom, to attempt and dare to live in a strange and foreign place, to travel halfway across the world was welcome here . . . I believe that God in shedding his grace on this country has always in this divine scheme of things kept an eye on our land and guided it as a promised land for these people.
Every U.S. president since 1956 has permitted temporary immigrants immigration assistance. This begins with President Eisenhower in 1956 paroling 923 foreign-born orphans into the custody of U.S. military families looking to adopt them. During 1959-to 72, Presidents Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon used executive powers to parole into the U.S. a majority of 621,403 Cuban asylum seekers fleeing from Castro’s Cuba. In 1976, President Gerald Ford granted extended voluntary departure to defend from deportation an unknown number of Lebanese who escaped Lebanon for the U.S. President Jimmy Carter paroled 123,000 Cubans and Haitians into the U.S. during the Mariel boatliff in 1980 and most importantly President Ronald Reagan deferred deportation for children in more than 100,000 families if the parents of the families were gaining legal status under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, IRCA, and granted AMNESTY to over three million immigrants . In 1990, President George H. Bush used executive powers to postpone deportations of up to 1.5 million spouses and children of people legalized under IRCA and in 1992, Presidents George H. Bush and Bill Clinton approved stays of deportation to about 190,000 El Salvadorans whose temporary protected status that permitted them to live and work in the U.S. had expired. And finally in 2012 President Barack Obama applied executive power to defer deportations for up to 1.8 million young immigrants in the U.S. illegally., who entered before they were 16 years of age and less than 31 years old,.
In his January 2011 Obama, in his State of the Union address in 2011, reminded the nation that success in the 21st century can only be accomplished though education, innovation, ,and rejuvenating America's infrastructure. Obama integrated immigration reform as a fundamental element in the "reinventing" of America. He announced that he was "prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows."
Reagan's and Obama’s dream of peaceful, hardworking immigrants is diametrically opposed to anti-immigration views advocated glibly by the Tea Party, Mitt Romney, Martin Levin, Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, Pat Buchanan, Past Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, and many others who claim the mantle of Ronald Reagan.
Reagan's work in immigration reform was unreserved. At a 1982 ceremony at Ellis Island he spoke emotively of immigrants who "possessed a determination that with hard work and freedom, they would live a better life and their children even more so." In 1986 he signed the immigration reform law that legalized almost 3 million illegal immigrants in exchange for sanctions against employers that knowingly hire illegal workers and for better border protection.
In fact under President Reagan's term, more immigrants became part of the United States legally than under any previous U.S. president since Teddy Roosevelt. Reagan saw illegal immigrants not as criminals but as human beings working honestly for a better life for them and their family. In a 1977 radio show he pointed out that apples were rotting on New England trees because no Americans were willing to pick them. "It makes one wonder about the illegal alien fuss. Are great numbers of our unemployed really victims of the illegal alien invasion or are those illegal tourists actually doing work our own people won't do?" Reagan said. "One thing is certain in this hungry world; no regulation or law should be allowed if it results in crops rotting in the fields for lack of harvesters."
Reagan’s consistently affirmative attitude towards immigrants and immigration was a fundamental aspect of his positive image of America. Republicans that disagree with Reagan's position on immigration would have to, in order to be consistent, discard much of Reagan’s approach to social and economic and social policy. Today's anti- immigration conservatives can continue their fight for immigration restrictions but they should not do so under the guise of Reagan republicanism.
Reagan understood the economics of immigration in the U.S. Congress in preparing to engage in the upcoming immigration reform debate should take in earnest a study from the Cato Institute that concludes that there would be an estimate of a trillion dollar benefit to our country if the most expansive immigration policies are pursued. Economists Peter Dixon and Maureen Rimmer (Peter Dixon is the Sir John Monash Distinguished Professor and Maureen Rimmer is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre of Policy Studies at Monash University in Australia. The U.S. Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Homeland Security, and the U.S. International Trade Commission have applied the USAGE model of the U.S. economy. In doing so, they discovered that increased enforcement and reduced low-skilled immigration have a significant negative influence on the income of U.S. households by reducing U.S. household welfare by about 0.5 percent, or $80 billion. In distinction, legalization of low-skilled immigrant workers would produce significant income gains for American households and workers. Under an optimal visa tax the positive impact for U.S. households of legalization would be 1.27 percent of GDP or $180 billion.
In Reagan’s farewell message to the nation he said “I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”