Legalization Programs and the Integration of Unauthorized Immigrants: A Comparison of S. 744 and IRCA
María E. Enchautegui
Experiences under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) may prove to be a poor guide for understanding how smoothly today’s unauthorized immigrants will integrate into the economy under reform proposals such as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744). While IRCA provided a relatively quick path to legal permanent resident status, S. 744 proposes a decade long process with much attendant uncertainty. This and other provisions in S. 744 may adversely affect immigrants’ integration and economic mobility.