Comprehensive Immigration Reform, One Step at a Time
The uproar over the leaked USCIS memo titled, “Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform” is a distraction from the realities that it attempts to address. Instead of focusing on the impacts of the alternatives, members of Congress and the blogosphere have focused on the fear that this is an attempt to sidestep the legislative process.
The intent of the alternatives is to promote family unity, foster economic growth and achieve process improvements in the absence of comprehensive immigration reform. The reality is that most of the alternatives simply expedite processing of applicants already engaging with USCIS through existing programs and processes. Not only do the majority of these alternatives represent a small percentage of immigrants and non-immigrants, but also, contrary to some reports, they do not attempt to legalize broadly the millions of illegal immigrants already within our borders.
Given the increasing desire from the American public to see solutions from the Federal Government on immigration issues, don’t we want our federal executives to be creative and use their authority to solve some of our toughest challenges? I think the answer is not to wait for comprehensive reform, but to continue to pursue a series of tactical, manageable changes to federal regulation and policy that when combined, have a powerful and positive impact.