Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Congress and Immigration Over the Past 25 Years

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An article found in The Washington Post today titled "A look at how Congress has dealt with immigration in the past 25 years" discusses several key years in which immigration was a key issue before Congress. Because the layout of the article is straightforward and easy, this post will provide a summary of several major years. If you wish to view the full article, click the link at the bottom of this post.

The first year highlighted in the article is 1986: The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 "requires that employers attest to employees' immigration status and make it illegal to hire or recruit illegal immigrants." This is still a big issue now, and a post a couple of weeks ago on this site addressed problems that those who knowingly employ undocumented workers run into.

1990: The Immigration Act of 1990 "increased the number of immigrants allowed into the country each year."

1996: Legislation was enacted that increased the number of criminal activities that an immigrant could be deported for.

September 11, 2001: The terrorist attacks on American soil that killed nearly 3,000 people resulted in a change in how America viewed immigration, resulting in stricter security and politicians' agendas.

In December of 2005, the House passed a bill that criminalized illegal immigrants. Although the Senate refused the bill, pro-immigrant protests resulted nationwide.

October 2006: The budget for Immigration and Customs Enforcement was boosted by more than 20%, "about 1 billion more than President George Bush requested, mostly for detention and transport of immigrants."

April 2010: Unhappy with Congress' efforts in dealing with tough immigration issues, Arizona passed a law that has been a hot topic of debate since. The law is on its way to be discussed this week before the Supreme Court. If you have not kept up-to-date on this issue, this site has a number of articles addressing the events surround the Arizona immigration law and recent events surrounding immigration and Arizona.

December 2010:  The Dream Act bill, "which would allow illegal immigrant students a path to citizenship," fails before the Senate.

Right Now: The U.S. Supreme Court is looking at the Arizona immigration law. As the past couple of posts have discussed, many people are anxiously awaiting the decision because of the impacts it could have throughout the entire nation.

This post did not cover every major year presented in the article, but to view the entire article, visit: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/a-look-at-how-congress-has-dealt-with-immigration-in-the-past-25-years/2012/05/02/gIQAFQntvT_story.html
*image from ips.illinois.edu

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