ERIC Number: ED327619
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Unfinished Business: The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
The intent of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 to eliminate the large exploitable subclass of undocumented immigrants living within the borders of the United States cannot be achieved through the methods chosen for its implementation. IRCA was designed to legalize the status of undocumented immigrants and to prevent more immigrants from entering the country illegally. The legalization program comprised a two-stage process for undocumented immigrants to become legal citizens. The employer sanctions program required employers to verify the documents of all new employees and established penalties for hiring undocumented workers. The first stage of legalization failed to maximize participation by eligible applicants. Many who completed the first stage of legalization may lose their legal status because of implementation problems with the second stage of the program. Furthermore, the benefits of legalization did not always apply to family members, who continue to face deportation. Efforts to educate employers about employer sanctions are yielding unimpressive results, and sanctions seem to have had little long-term effect on apprehensions at the United States-Mexican border. Labor market studies show that IRCA has had no significant effect on the job market for undocumented workers and has resulted in widespread employment discrimination against Hispanic and other Americans. The following recommendations are made: (1) complete the legalization program; (2) adopt new policies to eliminate the undocumented immigrant subclass; (3) repeal employer sanctions and develop alternatives for controlling illegal immigration that do not infringe on citizens' civil rights; and (4) reject proposals to develop any type of national identity card. Statistical data are presented in 10 graphs and 2 tables. A list of 94 endnotes is appended. (FMW)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC. Office of Research Advocacy and Legislation.
Identifiers: Immigration Reform and Control Act 1986