The way forward on immigration

It’s easy to conclude, with Congress seemingly gridlocked on so many issues, that comprehensive immigration reform will be yet another casualty of today’s divisive politics. But where some may see conflict, we see real progress.

What is most striking to us are not the differences, but the similarities, in many of the views expressed by those on both sides of the reform debate. As co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Immigration Task Force, we have mapped this common ground and believe there is ample room for achieving consensus. Today we are releasing initial recommendations to fix several key areas of the U.S. immigration system.

First, the public deserves to know whether the nation’s borders are secure and how effectively their border-protection tax dollars are being spent. To this end, we believe Congress should authorize the establishment of a set of scientifically valid measures to assess progress on border control. These measures should be audited by an independent commission, provide a comprehensive picture of the flow of unauthorized immigration and be published periodically for public scrutiny. More transparency should lead to greater public accountability.