It is estimated that some twelve million immigrants are in the U.S. without authorization.
More important, Why are they here in the first place?
Fixing a "broken" system means addressing the causes of migration.


WHAT IS THE IMMIGRATION DEBATE?

The United States currently has about twelve million people who are in the country without authorization. We often hear about the "broken" immigration system, but what exactly is "broken" that needs fixing? Until we can identify the basic problems and causes of migration, we will never resolve this issue.

The immigration debate has focused mainly on:

Finding the right balance calls for an understanding of migration itself. As we look around our own neighborhoods and towns, we can see that the vast majority of people have come from other locations in their lifetimes. Very few of us still live where we were born. Not only do we move from one neighborhood or town to another, but more than one in every ten people have come from other countries to work and live in our communities. When people move to new locations, they bring their experiences and ideas to their new communities. In the long run, these different perspectives offer new potentials for creative solutions to life challenges.

There are certainly challenges to how people with different ways can function together in the same society. It is always easier when people think and behave the same way, but this is never the case... within any family or community. The reality is that people are different, and expecting everyone to be the same never works. This expectation has many costs to both the individual and the society. First, it simply results in personal unhappiness and social conflicts. Second, it denies all of us the potentials that others have to offer, particularly innovativeness in resolving life challenges and developing a more satisfying way of life. History shows that those societies that define themselves narrowly and are intolerant to differences ultimately fail, such as Nazi Germany. On the other hand, those societies that are open to the contributions of a wide variety of potentials tend to thrive over time, such as the United States.

We all have the human right to find our own balance, but we all also have to find ways of living effectively with others in ways that benefit us all. This has been the challenge of humans all over the world since the beginning.

The ultimate challenge in the immigration debate, then, is how can we work together to find a balance that works for us all?

In considering how to fix America's broken immigration system, what do we want in reforms?

America's Immigration Legacy (video)
The Immigration Debate
Case for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, A Resource Guide (PDF)
The Many Facets of Effective Immigration Reform (PDF)
Immigration Ground Zero




WHY ARE THEY HERE?

The same social and economic forces that brought our forefathers to America
are still operating around the world today.
The immigration issue will never be resolved
until we address the causes of migration.

In the immigration debate, the unasked elephant-in-the-room question is Why do people migrate in the first place? Have you moved in your lifetime? Do you know the migration history of your own forefathers? Do you know someone in your family, neighborhood, workplace, or place of worship who has moved? Why do people leave familiar ways and go to strange places? Did you know that U.S. international policies are a major factor in driving global migration?

We will never resolve the immigration issue until we address the causes of migration!

Why Are They Here? (PDF)
The History of Human Migration
An Age of Migration
The Rights to Development: The North-South Divide
More losers than winners from WTO's free trade
NAFTA and Migration
Irresistible Attraction
Fleeing violence
The changing face of America

Why do some propose open borders? ...particularly between countries that have free trade agreements?

In addressing the immigration issue, Baldemar Velasquez, a leader in the Immigrant Rights movement, states that the current immigration system is designed to benefit rich corporations at the expense of workers. He has proposed a Freedom Visa where workers have the same rights as corporations to cross the borders between countries that have trade agreements in the search for the economic well-being of all concerned.

Workers Without Borders, New York Times (PDF)
Why restrict immigration at all?