(NEWS) Immigration reform has always been tough, and rarely happens in election years

Immigration is already a major polarizing issue in the 2024 U.S. presidential election. Arrests for illegal border crossings from Mexico reached an all-time high in December 2023, and cities like New York and Chicago are struggling to provide housing and basic services for tens of thousands of migrants arriving from Texas.

In early February 2024, a group of senators proposed new immigration legislation that would have slowed the migrant influx at the border. The bill would have made it harder for migrants to both apply for and receive asylum, which is the legal right to stay in the U.S. because of fear of persecution if they return back home. But the bill, like others proposed in recent years, quickly faltered after Republicans opposed it.

This is far from the first time that Democrats and Republicans have failed to pass legislation that was intended to improve the country’s immigration system.

I am a scholar of immigration and refugee policy. Here are four key reasons why meaningful immigration policy change has been so difficult to achieve – and why it remains a pipe dream:….

Daniel Tichenor, The Conversation, February 13, 2024
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