Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lessons Learned from IRCA 1986

From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

Lessons Learned from IRCA 1986:
A Look at "Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization Act of 2013"

Drawing from our experiences during and after IRCA, we offer a brief analysis of some of the legalization aspects of the recently introduced Senate Bill -- the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013."
We divide our discussion broadly into the positive and negative features of provisions in Senate Bill 744 (S.744) that relate to the length of the path to citizenship, eligibility requirements, and confidentiality provisions, and compare these to the provisions that existed under IRCA.

Among the most positive features of the Senate Bill is that it provides a roadmap to citizenship for certain undocumented immigrants. The path to citizenship for those living in the United States without lawful status will consist of four steps: (1) Adjustment to “Registered Provisional Immigrant” (RPI) Status; (2) Extension/Renewal of RPI status (3) Adjustment of Status to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR); and (4) Naturalization. Just like under IRCA, legalization under S.744 is an integral part of bringing undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and into the fold of American society. 

A close look at IRCA and the Senate Bill reveals that both pieces of legislation represent a struggle between the perceived lack of control over our immigration system and the belief that something has to be done about the large number of undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Unfortunately, the Senate Bill includes numerous roadblocks and restrictions that will prevent many from accessing the path to legalization.

Download the analysis here.



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