Immigration Overhaul Critical to Border Security, Think Tank Says – CQ Homeland Security

Comprehensive revision of U.S. immigration law is the most important way to secure the nation’s borders, the Center for American Progress said in a report released Monday.

The report, titled “Doing What Works: Doing What Works to Ensure Immigration Reform Is Complete and Comprehensive,” describes myriad problems with the Department of Homeland Security “virtual fence” program known as SBInet and the need for more manpower at the borders.

But an overhaul of immigration laws would represent the single biggest step toward securing the nation’s borders, said the report’s author, journalist Chuck McCutcheon. Revising the immigration system would allow the undermanned and overwhelmed Border Patrol to focus its limited resources on those who pose a real public danger rather than on the larger population of illegal immigrants looking for employment, he said.

The liberal think tank’s plan would focus enforcement efforts on disrupting drug and human trafficking and imposing stiffer penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants while ensuring workers’ privacy rights. It also contends that the current visa system encourages overstays, and recommends replacing it with a more flexible option that better accommodates applicants’ economic and family needs.