Immigration Reform--An Intergovernmental Imperative

The most intense and direct pressures created by increasing rates of immigration and the absence of comprehensive immigration reform at the national level

Dec 2, 2008

The most intense and direct pressures created by increasing rates of immigration and the absence of comprehensive immigration reform at the national level are felt at the local level--in cities, towns, villages, and counties across the nation. Local governments struggle to balance the goals of public health and safety, economic development, and community cohesion. The debate on how to respond to immigrants often creates considerable conflict and political turmoil within a community. The current piecemeal approach to immigration jeopardizes the safety and security of citizens and immigrants alike, imposes significant burdens on the economic and social fabric of localities, and creates intergovernmental tensions that may impede effective working relations on other issues. ICMA considers immigration to be one of the most pressing contemporary issues facing the United States. This paper presents policy recommendations that promote an intergovernmental response to this immigration reform. ICMA's Governmental Affairs and Policy Committee (led by Chairman Patrick Urich, county Administrator, Peoria, County, Ill.; and Vice Chairman Scott Hancock, executive director, Maryland Municipal League), chose the topic for this paper in consultation with the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Council of State Governments.

Advertisement

You may also be interested in