Following the passage of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, President Obama urged Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform. Despite such repeated calls to action, immigration reform remains stalled in Congress and hindered by intractable political actors. Policymakers from across the spectrum agree that U.S. immigration policy is broken and must be fixed, yet are unable to reach agreement on what shape comprehensive reform should take.
On July 8, Brookings hosted a forum to recast the debate about immigration reform and offer fresh perspectives on how to improve our current immigration strategy. Brookings Vice President and Director of Governance Studies Darrell West presented key findings and policy recommendations from his new book Brain Gain: Rethinking U.S. Immigration Policy. (Brookings Institution Press, 2010), which argues that reform is crucial to U.S. competitiveness and that immigrants bring innovation that outweighs perceived costs. Following his remarks, West moderated a panel of experts to discuss how to transform existing immigration laws to deliver greater economic and social benefits.
After the program, panelists took audience questions.