Neither the economic downturn nor enhanced enforcement has driven 12 million illegal immigrants to leave the country. Enforcement is still far from effective, either on the border or in the workplace. And even in a recession, we still seem to need foreign workers, especially at the bottom of the economy.
But other things have changed since 2006 and 2007, when the nation last wrangled so bitterly over immigration. And although the new landscape hardly guarantees success — immigration is never an easy issue, and some of what has changed will make it harder to pass reform — it’s going to be a different debate this year