Examining the practical effects of immigration reform

The debate over immigration reform can get so heated, and involve so much rhetoric, that its practical effects can sometimes get lost in the mix. For instance, how would reform affect things like jobs, taxes and even drug smuggling?

Answers to many of those questions are unknown or have only been guessed at by legislators, researchers and advocates on either side of the issue. However, as the prospect of reform seems more immediate, many people are trying to develop a greater understanding of the impact of proposed legislation.

Immigration reform and the economy
The effect of immigration reform on the economy is one of the most contentious issues in the debate. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses across America and is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the nation, has come out firmly in favor of passing immigration reform legislation in the quickest possible timeframe.

“We’re determined to make 2014 the year that immigration reform is finally enacted,” Chamber CEO Thomas J. Donahue said in his annual speech on the state of American business, according to The Washington Times.

The fact that the largest coalition of American businesses is putting so much effort into the effort to reform the nation’s broken immigration system seems to suggest that they believe it would be good for the economy.

Other areas immigration reform could impact
Drug smuggling – especially smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border – is another hot topic in the immigration debate. In an article for the Iowa State Daily, columnist Phil Brown points out that putting an end to drug smuggling is unlikely, if not impossible.

However, he goes on to say that by enacting common sense immigration reform measures the smuggling market could be depressed to an extent, further enhancing law enforcement’s ability to combat illicit substance use and distribution in the U.S.