The US needs an Immigrant Policy, rather than an Immigration Policy
On Friday there was a great op-ed in the San Francisco Gate about ways the government could create a more immigrant-friendly immigration policy by supporting it with an immigrant integration policy. Among the ideas are the "Office of Citizenship" taking a more active role in our current immigration policy, increasing the quality and availability of English classes and helping immigrants find jobs that use the skills they already have upon arriving in the US.
The Office of Citizenship is not a substitute for mechanisms that drive integration, like good schools and anti-discrimination laws. Nor should federally led integration efforts impose an ethnically chauvinistic version of American identity, something that the Office of Citizenship has been careful to avoid. But our nation of immigrants must have a bolder immigrant policy; one that promotes integration not by passively encouraging it, but by providing the tools that foster integration that is good for both immigrants and their new home.
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