Abstract

Abstract:

During the 1970s, illegal immigration to the United States became a potent political issue. Early efforts to address this problem focused on penalizing employers who hired those in unauthorized status. The U.S. Catholic bishops advocated a generous amnesty for this population, concerned that the one-sided employer penalties approach would be detrimental to the unauthorized families and the communities in which they lived. Simultaneously, the bishops promoted immigration enforcement measures because high numbers of illegal immigrants would likely undermine the entire immigration system. Efforts to provide relief for the unauthorized while implementing enforcement measures to curb future illegal inflows climaxed with the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). Unfortunately, since these efforts were unable to limit illegal immigration effectively, many of the problems visible in the 1970s reemerged by the 1990s.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-8224
Print ISSN
0735-8318
Pages
pp. 123-144
Launched on MUSE
2019-09-05
Open Access
No
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