With a significant influx of migrants at U.S. southern border and new priorities under the Biden-Harris administration, immigration policy is at the forefront of the national conversation. After four years of hardline policies from the Trump administration, President Biden and congressional Democrats have committed to passing inclusive immigration reform. The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which was unveiled by congressional Democrats in February, would eventually provide most undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship but is unlikely to earn bipartisan support. With so much urgent debate surrounding a long-contested issue, many people are wondering what realistic, comprehensive immigration policy reform may look like in the United States.
On April 29, as part of the twelfth annual A. Alfred Taubman Forum on Public Policy, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted a webinar to explore the future of immigration policy in the United States. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), lead sponsor of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 in the House of Representatives, gave keynote remarks. A panel of immigration policy experts followed to discuss legislation needed for immigration reform, obstacles to reform, and ways to move forward as a nation.