Immigration Reform: Policies and Implementation - An Evaluation of American Immigration Policy and Recommended Changes
Project AdvisorVedlitz, Arnold
MetadataShow full item record
Americans are dissatisfied with their immigration system and are seeking changes. However, additional demands and expectations will be placed on those organizations that have to enforce and implement these changes. How will comprehensive immigration reform affect federal agencies? Determining the specific implementation demands likely to result from comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) legislation without knowing the specific policy elements that will be enacted is a difficult task. Nevertheless, this report presents a broad overview of the probable effects of likely policy changes by presenting an authoritative analysis utilizing a comprehensive literature review, a detailed investigation of relevant case studies, secondary analysis of public opinion polls, and in-depth interviews with eleven-stakeholder groups. An overwhelming number of stakeholders identified the status quo as the most likely short-term condition. Yet this does not preclude incremental change from happening within agencies through internal reforms. Our research provides a roadmap for the likely areas of policy focus. Likely Areas of Policy Focus Border and Interior Enforcement Employer Regulations Guest Worker/Visa Program Legalization Border and interior enforcement refers to any type of legislation that would include security measures taken to enforce immigration laws either on the borders by CBP or within the interior of our country by state and local authorities. This could include proposals like the Secure Border Initiative (SBI) that would require increases in enforcement and would create additional ICE and CBP demands. Employer regulations refers to any polices that would change the current U.S. employer regulations or increase current sanctions for employers. Changes in this area could include a mandatory implementation of the current E-Verify system on a nationwide scale. The guest worker/visa program area of focus refers to any reforms that would modify the options immigrants currently have to work legally in the U.S. This could involve the creation of a new guest worker program or an increase in the number of visas for any particular group of workers. Finally, the area of legalization includes pathways to citizenship that would offer immigrants an opportunity to become citizens through a naturalization or amnesty process. Our stakeholder interviews suggested that CIR would most likely exacerbate the challenges federal agencies currently face. The likely areas of policy focus we have identified create corresponding implementation concerns for numerous agencies. The concerns for agencies are pervasive and crosscutting. Areas of Concern Technology Personnel Management Funding Bush School of Government Immigration Reform: Policies and Implementation 2 To illustrate how the policy focus areas interact with the areas of concern a few examples are provided herein. Technology concerns for employer regulations would include improving the current E-Verify system to avoid errors and TNC (Tentative Non-Confirmation) results. Personnel concerns for legalization would include recommendations that USCIS staff be augmented to respond to any increases in legalization applications that would create a capacity strain for the agency. Management concerns for enforcement would include improving collaboration and communication among CBP, ICE and the FBI to improve database linkage and the sharing of information. In our stakeholder interviews 31% of our respondents felt that interagency collaboration would be crucial for enforcement efforts. With regard to funding, there were concerns that agencies like DOS and DOL would require additional appropriations to combat any increases in the number of visas since this would lead to influx of applications that would need to be processed. Regardless of the legislation passed, these concerns will undoubtedly force agencies to address long-standing challenges. Many of these challenges can be addressed only through costly measures that are often price-prohibitive. Thus, contracting options offer a viable solution. In this report, we explore several programs that provide future growth platforms for contracting. Contracting Options Technology Consulting Services o Database Operations o Biometric Technologies o Surveillance and Monitoring Systems Management Consulting Services Our research indicated a number of opportunities for contractors to provide technological consulting service and assistance to federal agencies and private employers who would need to comply with new federal mandates. A few of these options might include IT strategy and consolidation to address backlogs within USCIS or database consolidation to address database fragmentation; for instance the integration of the DHS ENFORCE and Fugitive Case Management System databases. Additionally, new enforcement measures for both national security and employer verification could allow contractors the opportunity to help federal agencies and private employers implement new biometric technologies. Finally, contractors could provide agencies management consulting services to restructure agency operations or train personnel to ensure the success of new programs and legislative mandates. The uncertainty surrounding the immigration reform debate prevents definitive analysis of what changes CIR will bring, but the policy areas and implementation concerns provided in this report provide an impartial and timeless approach to the issue of immigration reform.
Buck, Caitlin; Cravatt, Cody; Fagin, Paul; Finney, Angela; Gomes, Rafael; Shan, Sandy; Skarboe, Bjorne; Sarmiento Quezada, Brenda; Wagner, Jason (2010). Immigration Reform: Policies and Implementation - An Evaluation of American Immigration Policy and Recommended Changes. Available electronically from