President Obama along with politicians of both parties have just crafted a bill, that will address the estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the shadows in America.
These people entered the country illegally or overstayed their tourist visas. That said, it was never practical nor humane to deport these folks, many of whom have children born in the United Sates.
From a labor point of view, many of these undocumented workers are working illegally with fake social security cards. There are even others who are working 'under the table,' and therefore not paying any income taxes, nor paying into social security and medicare.
The bill proposed, would give undocumented workers a way to work legally, and an eventual path to citizenship. The latter would only apply if they pay a fine for entering the country illegally and go to the back of the line, behind those who entered lawfully. The bill would penalize companies for hiring illegals and have more stringent enforcement.
At the same time, to avoid the debacle that occurred in 1986, when President Reagan gave amnesty to illegal aliens, there would also have to be tighter border controls from Mexico. In 1986, that bill failed to address this, leading to an influx of undocumented workers,who took advantage of the amnesty.
With the U.S. unemployment rate at about 7.5%, it is unlikely that this bill, will alter that rate,either positively or negatively. As a result of technology, outsourcing and skills gap, this slow recovery from the recession is due to its abnormal cause-banking/mortgage crisis. Usually recessions are caused by inflation which leads to higher interest rates. But when recessions are due to financial crisis' the recoveries take longer, as happened with the S&L crisis of the early 1990's.
Therefore the unemployment rate of between 7-7.5% is likely the new normal.
The area of immigration that seldom is discussed, is increasing (selective) legal immigration. We allow the brightest people to attend our prestigious universities on student visas, and then send them home.
This is a shame because the skills gap we have is partly due to not having people who are highly trained. Granted, some of these talented students who come from abroad, may want to return to their native country after graduation, but more would probably want to stay.