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U.S. Immigration Policy: What’s Next?

Tuesday June 2010

Panelists: Noah Pickus, Director, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University; Peter Skerry, Professor, Department of Political Science, Boston College; Steve Malanga, Senior Editor, City Journal; Jacob Vigdor, Author, From Immigrants to Americans: The Rise and Fall of Fitting In; Juan Rangel, CEO, United Neighborhood Organization, Chicago, Illinois

Moderator: Howard Husock, Vice President, Manhattan Institute

Controversy over the new Arizona law targeting illegal immigrants has revived the simmering public discussion over whether and how U.S. immigration policy should be changed. How can the nation—and especially cities such as New York—continue to attract talented newcomers while protecting our borders from those entering illegally? Should the skilled be favored over the unskilled? Should immigrants be expected to "assimilate"?

The Immigration Policy Roundtable, a group of individuals with wide-ranging perspectives convened by Duke University and the Brookings Institution—and including a representative of the Manhattan Institute—has, in its report "Breaking the Immigration Stalemate," offered specific policy proposals which could be a model for federal legislation. The group's cochairs, Noah Pickus and Peter Skerry, will present and explain the group’s proposal—which links any legalization of the 15 million illegal immigrants estimated to be in the U.S. with a strict new system of "workplace verification" and a new emphasis on attracting higher-skilled legal immigrants.