NPR Story
7:04 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Best Of The Border: Broken Border (1/28-2/1)

The week's top stories from Fronteras Desk.

Broken Border

Our immigration system is broken.

An estimated 11 million people live in the United States without proper documentation. Visas available to bring in high skilled, or less-skilled, workers are hard to come by. Visa backlogs have separated families for upward of 20 years.

We spent a staggering $18 billion on immigration enforcement last fiscal year. Yet people who want to cross, still do so.

These are the large issues and people shaping immigration reform.

Is There Such Thing As A Secure Border?

Border security first. That’s the rallying call of many political conservatives who see 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country as clear evidence that the federal government has failed the job of border enforcement. And they say, before we reform the immigration system, and offer a path to citizenship to those who came here illegally, we need to secure the border.

Pathway To Citizenship For Undocumented Construction Workers

The most contentious component of what President Barack Obama is likely to include in his immigration overhaul proposal is a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. What might that look like in one industry with a high percentage of undocumented immigrant workers?

Farmers And Advocates Both Want Guest Worker Reform

A federal guest worker program called H-2A allows any farmer in the nation, to bring in as many temporary foreign workers — say, from Mexico — as they need. But to participate it takes lots of money, paperwork and often, attorneys.

“Consequently nobody uses it,” said Eric Larson, director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau. “I think we have one farmer in San Diego County that uses the H-2A for about eight workers, where in reality we have 10,000-12,000 farm workers in San Diego County.”

Who Is The Gang Of Eight?

In a way, it’s obvious why one-quarter of the Gang hails from Arizona. Back in 2010, protests over the state’s immigration law, SB 1070, made Arizona a poster child for the anger felt on both sides over failed policies in Washington.

What Does President Obama Owe Latinos?

Latino elected officials and community leaders are celebrating the inauguration of President Obama's second term. But growing expectations are mounting. Will he make good on his pledge to push for comprehensive immigration reform?

Nationally Translating E-Verify

As Congress gears up to take on immigration, many observers believe one debate will be over whether to include mandatory E-Verify, or a system like it, in a comprehensive reform bill. What lessons has Arizona learned from using the program for the past five years?


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