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Comprehensive Immigration Reform

By Donald Kerwin and Laureen Laglagaron



While comprehensive immigration reform may have moved to the back burner politically, Congress ultimately will need to reform US immigration policy as immigration enforcement alone will not prove effective in dealing with the nation’s estimated 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants.

By Peggy Gleason

As you know, the House and Senate are scheduled to negotiate a compromise that could produce a comprehensive immigration reform bill.  For the first time since the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, legalization may become law.  Without knowing exactly what will pass, it is difficult to plan for our programs.  However, we know the rough outlines of the possible legislation and we can mine our own experiences for concrete preparation steps we can take now.

By Peggy Gleason


Regardless of what legalization program is eventually enacted and implemented, applicants will need to submit supporting documents to establish that they qualify. What documents are likely to be needed? What is the best way to organize them? How should clients now be counseled on ways to gather these documents? By looking at the prior legalization under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, and at the current proposals, we can estimate what may be required once a new legalization program is enacted.

By Donald Kerwin and Charles Wheeler


This article originally appeared in Issues in Immigration, Vol. 1 (Center for Migration Studies, 2004). It was reprinted by Bender’s Immigration Bulletin, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Feb. 1, 2007).


A naturalization group application workshop is a one-day community event that brings professionals and trained volunteers together to assist Lawful Permanent Residents in completing the Application for Naturalization (N-400). The workshop is an essential tool for efficiently and effectively providing naturalization assistance to large numbers of people. The success of the workshop model depends on careful planning, thorough training of staff and volunteers, and high quality services. The purpose of this toolkit is to help charitable immigration programs achieve a successful workshop.