Immigration Policy in the U.S.

This paper gives an overview of the 1) U.S. policy towards legal immigrants, 2) U.S. policy to prevent illegal immigration, 3) attempts to reform U.S. immigration policy.

Democrats and Republicans are fighting for the votes of the (legal) immigrant population from Central and South America. In 2008 Latinos voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. At the same time the situation at the border between the United States and Mexico deterio-rates dramatically. The Governor of Arizona has recently announced tough measures to fight illegal immigration arguing that the federal state has failed to provide border security. This led to an outcry among a major part of the political establishment. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid seized this opportunity and put the reform of the immigration legislation on the top of the political agenda of the U.S. Senate. It is worth noting that Harry Reid trails in the polls in Nevada where he tries to defend his Senate seat in November. As a conse-quence, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham withdrew his support for the Energy/Climate Change bill of Senators Kerry and Lieberman. Immigration policy therefore will play a major role in the coming months leading to the mid-term-elections in November.

Read the whole article as pdf-download above.


Michal Machnowski, Norbert Wagner

Publication series

Country Reports


Sankt Augustin, May 7, 2010