Seeking to ‘Drain the Poison’ from the Immigration Debate, the New Center Releases a Bipartisan Proposal for Immigration Reform

Launched in 2017, the New Center is focused on creating the political space and intellectual basis for a viable political center in today’s America. The project is co-chaired by Bill Galston, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution and former Democratic Party operative, and Bill Kristol, the founder and former editor of the conservative Weekly Standard. This publication on immigration policy seeks to “drain the poison” from the immigration debate, eschew the extreme views of right and left, and chart a way forward consistent with the views of the majority of Americans. The initial sections of the report summarize the evidence available on a variety of topics, such as U.S. immigrant admission priorities compared to those of other countries; the composition of the undocumented immigrant population; the impacts of illegal immigration on the economy, public safety, and the social safety net; and the economic impact of immigration in general. The report concludes with a set of proposals that could form the basis of a bipartisan immigration deal in Congress. Key elements of their proposal include the following: maintaining current levels of immigration but shifting to a more employment-focused system; limiting family-based immigration to nuclear families; elimination of the diversity visa lottery; creating a new provisional visa program; toughened language requirements for naturalization; a rigorous legalization program for undocumented immigrants ultimately leading to citizenship, but only after spending ten years as “registered provisional immigrants;” immediate permanent residence for qualified Dreamers; a combination of physical barriers and enhanced electronic surveillance to better fortify the southern border; implementation of a universal E-Verify system; discontinuation of the use of private  prisons for immigration detention and an end to mandatory detention; establishment of an independent commission to advise Congress and the president on immigration policy; and the creation of an Office of New Americans to oversee efforts to integrate immigrants into American society. (American Immigrant Policy Portal)

The Immigration Debate: The Poison Infecting Our Politics
The New Center, November, 2018