Immigration Reform: Corporate Demands Trump Human Rights

Source: Michelle Chen, New Labor Forum, Vol. 23 no. 1, Winter 2014
(subscription required)

Immigration reform has been the year’s most feared, least effective, most popular, and most hated legislative discussion in Washington. You might say that “comprehensive immigration reform”—the awkward legislative compromise that emerged last summer as Senate Bill 744 and now languishes in the gridlocked House—was dead on arrival because of its attempt to straddle so many competing, often conflicting interests, pushing for a panoply of reforms that would either open or harden the country’s porous borders.

While the Republican-dominated House of Representatives wrestles with issues of war, budget deficits, and Obamacare, the chaos of Capitol Hill may well smother any chances of passing reform legislation this year. Despite its narrow chances of passage, however, the bill provides a crucial window for understanding the current alignment of powerful stakeholders advocating immigration reform. …