The undocumented immigrant population in the United States is a glaring sign of a broken immigration system. For too many years, immigration policy has been reformed at the margins, with executive orders filling in where legislation has been desperately needed.Our immigration system is not built to accommodate the needs of our economy.
Too few green cards are allocated to fill open jobs. Outdated provisions like per-country caps artificially limit the number of immigrants that may enter from any country every year. There are not enough pathways to entry for immigrants. The result is decades-long backlogs for many people who want to live and work in the United States legally but are instead frustrated by the very process enshrined in our laws.
This inadequate system created the undocumented population we have today. We cannot enforce and deport our way out of this. Congress should pass a top-to-bottom reform of our immigration system so that we can reduce the incentives for unauthorized immigration.