Last updated on: 12/21/2022 | Author:


The background and pro and con arguments were written by staff based upon input from the following sources.

1.Francine Kiefer, “Immigration Reform 101: How Is ‘Legal Status’ Different from Citizenship?,”, Jan. 31, 2014, “Deportation,”, Apr. 18, 2022
3.Dan Clark, “Is Living as an Undocumented Immigrant in the U.S. a Crime?,”, Dec. 1, 2017
4.Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute, “Amnesty,”, Dec. 2021
5.James P. Sterba, “Carter Plan Would Give Amnesty to Illegal Aliens Already in U.S.,”, Apr. 18, 1977
6.Evan Wyloge, “The Immigration Reform and Control Act: What It Is, Why It Matters,”, Nov. 6, 1986
7.Library of Congress, “A Latinx Resource Guide: Civil Rights Cases and Events in the United States, 1986: Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986,” (accessed May 24, 2022)
8.Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute, “8 CFR Subpart A - Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) Legalization Provisions,” (accessed May 24, 2022)
9.Mónica Ortiz Uribe, “‘My Life Could’ve Been Completely Different’: Revisiting Impacts of 1986 Irca Amnesty,”, Feb. 17, 2021
10.Nancy Rytina, “IRCA Legalization Effects: Lawful Permanent Residence and Naturalization through 2001,”, Oct. 25, 2022
11.Andrew Taylor, “2 GOP Presidents Acted Unilaterally on Immigration,”, Nov. 17, 2014
12.John Kruzel, “Did Reagan and H.W. Bush Issue Actions Similar to DACA, as Al Franken Said?,”, Sep. 8, 2017
13.American Immigration Council, “Reagan-Bush Family Fairness: A Chronological History,’, Dec. 9, 2014
14.Mark Krikorian, “Obama’s Unprecedented Amnesty,”, Nov. 18, 2014
15.Dara Lind, “The Disastrous, Forgotten 1996 Law That Created Today’s Immigration Problem,”, Apr. 28, 2016
16.White House, “President Bush's Plan For Comprehensive Immigration Reform,”, May 15, 2006
17.Donna Smith, “Senate Kills Bush Immigration Reform Bill,”, June 28, 2007
18.American Immigration Council, “The Dream Act: An Overview,”, Mar. 16, 2021
19.U.S. Congress, “S.264 - Dream Act of 2021,” (accessed May 26, 2022)
20.U.S. Congress, “H.R.6 - American Dream and Promise Act of 2021,” (accessed May 26, 2022)
21.Undocumented Student Program, “DACA Information,” (accessed Jan. 30, 2018)
22.Homeland Security, “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),”, Jan. 29, 2018
23.Vanessa Romo, Martina Stewart, and Brian Naylor, “Trump Ends DACA, Calls On Congress To Act,”, Sep. 5, 2017
24.Michael D. Shear and Emily Cochrane, “Trump Says Administration Will Try Again to End ‘Dreamers’ Program,”, June 19, 2020
25.Nina Totenberg, “Supreme Court Rules For DREAMers, against Trump,”, June 18, 2020
26.Tal Kopan and Jeremy Diamond, “White House Proposes Path to Citizenship for 1.8 Million People,”, Jan. 26, 2018
27.Rafael Bernal, “Trump Says He’ll Sign Order with ‘Road to Citizenship’ for DACA Recipients,”, July 10, 2020
28.Joseph R. Biden, “Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),”, Jan. 20, 2021
29.Ken Stone, “White House Walks Back Trump Vow He’ll Give Dreamers Path to U.S. Citizenship,”, July 10, 2020
30.U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement, “CBP Enforcement Statistics Fiscal Year 2023,”, Nov. 14, 2022
31.Eve Zuckoff, “Migrants on Martha’s Vineyard Flight Say They Were Told They Were Going to Boston,”, Sep. 15, 2022
32.Camilo Montoya-Galvez, “New York Declares State of Emergency over Migrant Arrivals, Citing Dwindling Shelter Space”, Oct. 7, 2022
33.Rafael Bernal, “Poll: 70 Percent of Americans Support a Path to Citizenship,”, Feb. 16, 2022
34.J. Baxter Oliphant and Andy Cerda, “Republicans and Democrats Have Different Top Priorities for U.S. Immigration Policy,”, Sep. 8, 2022
35.Laura Collins, “Solutions for Undocumented Immigrants,”, Jan. 19, 2021
36.Randy Capps, Julia Gelatt, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, and Jennifer Van Hook, “Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States: Stable Numbers, Changing Origins,”, Dec. 2020
37.New American Economy, “Undocumented Immigrants,” (accessed June 2, 2022)
38.Giovanni Peri and Reem Zaiour, “Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants Would Boost U.S. Economic Growth,”, June 14, 2021
39.White House, “Remarks by the President on Immigration,”, June 15, 2012
40.Migration Policy Institute, “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Data Tools,” (accessed June 3, 2022), “Dreamers by the Numbers,”, Mar. 1, 2021
42.Laurence Benenson, “Fact Sheet: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),” Oct. 16, 2020
43.Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix, “A Deeper Look at the DREAMers Who Could Feature in the Legalization Debate in Congress,”, Feb. 2021
44.Nicole Prchal Svajlenka and Trinh Q. Truong, “The Demographic and Economic Impacts of DACA Recipients: Fall 2021 Edition,”, Nov. 24, 2021
45.Richard Barth, “Dreamers Are Essential To America. Let Them Become Citizens,”, Nov. 29, 2021
46.Tom Jawetz, “Restoring the Rule of Law Through a Fair, Humane, and Workable Immigration System,”, July 22, 2019
47.Miriam Jordan, “The Overlooked Undocumented Immigrants: From India, China, Brazil,”, Dec. 1, 2019
48.David J. Bier, “Why the Legal Immigration System Is Broken: A Short List of Problems,”, July 10, 2018
49.Matt O’Brien, “Rewarding Bad Behavior Is the Worst Approach to Illegal Immigration,”, Mar. 1, 2018
50James Carafano, Lora Ries, Chad Wolf, Ken Cuccinelli, and Mark Morgan, “Heritage Experts: Biden's Amnesty Proposal ‘Trades American Interests for Far-Left’s Political Aspirations,’”, Feb. 18, 2021
51.Joseph Chamie, “What Should Be the Consequences for Illegal Immigration?,”, Feb. 5, 2021
52.Lora Ries, “Does the US Owe Amnesty to Future Illegal Immigrants?,”, Oct. 26, 2020
53.Emily Sacia, “Cochise Sheriff: Border Crime at ‘All-Time High,’ Immigration Reform Needed,”, Apr. 27, 2022
54.David Inserra, “Dreaming of Amnesty: Legalization Will Spur More Illegal Immigration,”, Oct. 30, 2017
55.Heritage Foundation, “What Immigration Reform Should Look Like,” (accessed June 1, 2022)
56.Ilona Bray, “Consequences of Unlawful Presence in the U.S.—Three– and Ten-Year Time Bars,” (accessed May 31, 2022)
57.Ilona Bray, “The Permanent Bar to Immigration for Certain Repeat Violators,” (accessed May 31, 2022)
58.Bryan Baker, “Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2015–January 2018,”, Jan. 2021
59.Cecilia Esterline and Jeanne Batalova, “Refugees and Asylees in the United States,”, May 13, 2021
60.Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler, “Estimating the Illegal Immigrant Population Using the Current Population Survey,”, Mar. 29, 2022
61.Diana Roy and Claire Felter, “What Is Temporary Protected Status?,”, Mar. 28, 2022
62.American Immigration Council, “Temporary Protected Status: An Overview,”, Sep. 30, 2022
63.Ryan Baugh, "Refugees and Asylees: 2019,", Sep. 2020
64.Michael Howell, “Why America Has to Avoid Amnesty,”, July 17, 2020
65.Alex Nowrasteh and David J. Bier, “Three New Ways for Congress to Legalize Illegal Immigrants,”, Apr. 10, 2019
66.Ashley Nunes, “A Path to Legal Status but Not Citizenship,”, Mar. 31, 2017