The National Foundation for American Policy has put out a number of excellent reports on the state of American immigration and now they have two more.
Family immigration quotas are inadequate and result in separation and long waits for Americans, lawful permanent residents and close family members. Approximately 4 million people are waiting in family immigration backlogs, according to data obtained from the U.S. Department of State and Department of Homeland Security.
The wait time for a U.S. citizen petitioning for a brother or sister from the Philippines exceeds 20 years. A U.S. citizen petitioning for either a married (3rd preference) or unmarried (1st preference) son or daughter (21 years or older) can expect to wait 6 to 17 years, depending on the country or origin. Research shows legal immigrants experience faster wage growth than natives, are more likely to start businesses and have higher median years of schooling. Raising family immigration quotas would serve both the humanitarian and economic interests of the United States.
The absence of a way to enter the United States legally to work has contributed to more than 4,000 men, women, and children dying while attempting to cross to America since 1998. Alarmingly, immigrant deaths increased in 2009 at a time when illegal entry fell significantly. This death toll – an average of about one person a day – has occurred in the context of great pressure from Congress and executive branch officials to “control the border.” The loss of life will almost certainly continue unless more paths are open to work legally in the United States. The only plausible way to eliminate immigrant deaths at the border, as well as reduce illegal immigration in the long term, is to institute a new program of temporary visas or portable work permits for foreign workers. Strong evidence exists that the current “enforcement-only” policy has strengthened criminal gangs, providing a profitable line of business for Mexican criminal enterprises. If Mexican and Central American workers could come to America on a legal visa or work permit they would have no need to employ the services of a coyote or criminal enterprise.