It is critical to remember that we are working to improve a fundamentally flawed system. We must be careful that, in pursuing our own individual ideals, we do not sacrifice good results for the sake of the perfect, leaving in place the current broken structure. Among the many problems the country faces is a large community of individuals living without the responsibilities and privileges of legal status. Today, these individuals are not living up to their economic potential and are costing the United States millions of dollars in law-enforcement efforts. Because of their undocumented status, these individuals are also open to exploitation by those who capitalize on the shadow economy. As a nation, Americans can no longer afford to turn away and ignore the status quo: the de facto amnesty that exists today.
The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Immigration Task Force is a politically diverse group working toward bipartisan consensus around the key immigration reform issues. We have agreed to focus on four primary topics and have reached agreement on a series of recommendations in each. Our group believes the following set of principles will help to move the immigration debate forward at this critical juncture.