Ten Guiding Principles for Truly Comprehensive Immigration Reform: A Blueprint

37 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2010  

Kevin R. Johnson

University of California, Davis - School of Law

Date Written: February 9, 2010


This Essay is part of a symposium held at Wayne State University Law School in February 2010 that will be published in a symposium issue of the Wayne Law Review. It articulates ten principles that I contend should guide immigration reform that would be meaningful, comprehensive, and long-lasting. My hope is to offer a roadmap to truly comprehensive immigration reform, rather than the ineffective piecemeal (and often half-baked) efforts at reform that we have seen over the last few decades. This is my basic pitch: to avoid a repeat of the failure of the last major attempt at “comprehensive” immigration reform in the Immigration reform and Control Act of 1986, we need to acknowledge that immigration – undocumented and not – is largely labor-driven; only by addressing that unquestionable truth reasonably and responsibly will we be able to reform the nation’s immigration laws so that they are enforceable, effective, efficient, and respected. At the same time, family unification, protection of refugees, and national security and public safety are other goals that, of course, cannot be ignored by the immigration laws. Still, those goals must be appropriately – and expressly – folded into, and carefully balanced in an, overall immigration reform package.

Keywords: immigration, immigration policy, immigration reform

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Kevin R., Ten Guiding Principles for Truly Comprehensive Immigration Reform: A Blueprint (February 9, 2010). Wayne Law Review, Forthcoming; UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 204. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1550514

Kevin R. Johnson (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall
400 Mrak Hall Drive
Davis, CA 95616-5201
United States
530 752 0243 (Phone)
530 752 7279 (Fax)

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