Ripe for Immigration Reform

The economic downturn in the U.S. means it's a good time to stitch together comprehensive and politically palatable policies on immigration reform.

Almost everyone accepts that our current approach to immigration needs fixing. And they also recognize that the problem is likely to get worse. Paradoxically, given our current economic troubles, now is the best time to tackle the problems, for several reasons. First, notwithstanding the heated politics in Arizona and other border states, illegal immigration is down significantly since 2007, which creates a breathing period in which fears about job displacement may be somewhat less intense. As the economy improves and begins to generate more private-sector jobs, illegal migration likely will pick up as well, magnifying those fears and making compromise more difficult.

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