The US immigration debate often feels like the movie Groundhog Day because the same arguments and legislative proposals are replayed in an endless loop. Yet even though the national conversation about immigration policy remains almost unchanged during the past twenty-five years, the immigration enforcement system has been transformed.
The number-one policy most Americans think of in response to illegal immigration is securing the border. It has become a reflexive rallying cry that border security has to come first, before any other policy, to deal with the estimated twelve million immigrants who live in the country.
How does immigration intersect with issues of national security? The most obvious answer is border security, but too often that is the only answer. The state of the conversation among policymakers is lacking.
The Hoover Institution’s Conte Initiative on Immigration Reform conducts a quarterly survey of leading thinkers. Survey Respondents were asked what they would tweet when placed 'at the intersection of immigration policy and national security, what is the one policy or law that you recommend doing (or undoing)?'
One in ten people in the world (700 million) want to emigrate to another country, according to Gallup. One quarter of potential international migrants (165 million people) say the United States is their desired future residence.