A 20-member panel set up by the Brookings Institution and Duke University's Kenan Institute for Ethics to formulate a new model to help guide future immigration reform and planning released their report on October 6. The panel, comprised of both liberal and conservative academics, made some very good suggestions. They include:
- The "diversity" visa lottery which admits immigrants without regard to their talents or abilities should be abolished.
- Family-based immigration to the United States should be tightened. Specifically, preferences for the adult children, siblings, and other relatives of U.S. citizens and green card holders should be abolished. The panel also recommended that those adult relatives who have already applied to come to the United States (some 4.3 million) should have their applications canceled and their application fees refunded with interest.
- Legal immigration to the United States, currently comprised of 63% family members, 16% work-based, and 21% asylum seeks and refugees, should be "tilted" to favor those foreigners with special skills.
- A condition for any legalization or amnesty should be a certification that the E-Verify program meets certain effectiveness ratings, leading to a "trust but verify" approach that might be palatable to those on both sides of the immigration debate.
- The mandatory use of E-Verify would act as a "trigger" for any amnesty.
Noah Pickus, director of the Kenan Center and the group's convener, stated that the panel's hope was to "reset the debate" beyond rigid lines and to provide ways both sides could see progress toward their goals.
Updated: Wed, Oct 7th 2009 @ 2:58pm EDT