03/13/2014 - 12:00pmAri Kelman
05/01/2014 - 4:00pmCorey Fields
Stanford scholars see political hurdles in immigration reform
A glimmer of hope exists that the White House and Congress can come together on immigration reform, say two Stanford experts. One key issue for the tech industry is making H-1B visas more available so talented noncitizens can work in the U.S. But that may be unfair to Latino immigrants, others say.
Immigration activists in Miami in August 2013 call for a route to citizenship for undocumented individuals as immigration debate heats up in Congress.
(photo: J. Pat Carter/Associated Press)
Overhauling the nation's immigration laws is an area where the White House and Congress may find common ground in the months ahead, say two Stanford professors who study the issue.
But while the political calculus has tilted slightly in favor of key reforms, political science professor Bruce E. Cain said, many obstacles await on any road to agreement between two branches of the federal government that are so often at odds with each other.
For Cain, any new federal immigration reforms should clarify the status of the roughly 11 million undocumented people living in the United States.
"Otherwise, they are vulnerable to exploitation, lacking in critical rights and forced to live a secretive life," Cain said, adding that current immigration law does not account for the labor needs of business and agriculture. On top of this, crossing the border illegally is increasingly dangerous.