Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986


Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), also Simpson-Mazzoli Act (USPL|99|603, USStat|100|3359, signed by President Ronald Reagan on November 6, 1986) is an Act of Congress which reformed United States immigration law. The Act made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit illegal immigrants (immigrants who do not possess lawful work authorization), required employers to attest to their employees' immigration status, and granted amnesty to certain illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously. The Act also granted amnesty to several million illegal aliens, and its proponents promised the American public that that would be the last amnesty granted.Fact|date=July 2008

Legislative background and description

Romano L. Mazzoli was a Democratic representative from Kentucky and Alan K. Simpson was a Republican senator from Wyoming who chaired their repective immigration subcommittees in Congress. Their effort was assisted by the recommendations of the bipartisan Commission on Immigration Reform, chaired by Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, then President of Notre Dame University.

The law criminalized the act of knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant and established financial and other penalties for those employing illegal aliens under the theory that low prospects for employment would reduce illegal immigration. It introduced the I-9 form to ensure that all employees presented documentary proof of their legal eligibility to accept employment in the United States.

These sanctions would only apply to employers that had more than three employees and that did not make a sufficient effort to determine the legal status of their workers.

Critics of the Act

The legislation is frequently cited by opponents of illegal immigration as a failure in that, for each undocumented worker granted amnesty under the plan, approximately four new ones have since replaced them.Fact|date=February 2008 That assertion is based on the estimate that over 2.7 million individuals were legalized and the current estimate of undocumented workers in the United States is around 12 million. [cite news
last = Ohlemacher
first = Steven
coauthors =
title = Number of Illegal Immigrants Hits 12M
work =
pages =
publisher = Associated Press
date = March 7, 2006
url = http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/03/07/D8G6U2KO8.html
accessdate = 2006-11-19
]

Effect upon the labor market

According to one study, the IRCA caused some employers to discriminate against workers who appeared foreign, resulting in a small reduction in overall Hispanic employment. [cite journal
quotes = yes
last = Lowell
first = Lindsay
coauthors = Jay Teachman; Zhongren Jing
date =
year = 1995
month = November
title = Unintended Consequences of Immigration Reform: Discrimination and Hispanic Employment
journal = "Demography"
volume = 32
issue = 4
pages = 617–628
url = http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0070-3370%28199511%2932%3A4%3C617%3AUCOIRD%3E2.0.CO%3B2-P
accessdate = 2007-11-29
doi = 10.2307/2061678
] Another study stated that if hired, wages were being lowered to compensate employers for the perceived risk of hiring foreigners.cite book
last= Massey
first= Douglas S.
title= Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System
year= 2007
publisher= Russel Sage Foundation
location= New York
pages= 143-145
chapter= Chapter 4: Building a Better Underclass
]

The hiring process also changed as employers turned to indirect hiring through subcontractors. "Under a subcontracting agreement, a U.S. citizen or resident alien contractually agrees with an employer to provide a specific number of workers for a certain period of time to undertake a defined task at a fixed rate of pay per worker". "By using a subcontractor the firm is not held liable since the workers are not employees. The use of a subcontractor decreases a worker's wages since a portion is kept by the subcontractor. This indirect hiring is imposed on everyone regardless of legality".

References

ee also

* Immigration
* Foreign Worker Visa
* Alan Simpson
* Romano L. Mazzoli
* Labor economics

External links

* [http://www.oig.lsc.gov/legis/irca86.htm Text of Act]
* [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d099:SN01200:@@@L&summ2=m&|TOM:/bss/d099query.html Summary of the Bill from "Thomas" for the Library of Congress]
* [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d099:SN01200:@@@S|TOM:/bss/d099query.html Detailed legislative history of Simpson-Mazzoli from introduction to Presidential signature, also from "Thomas" for the Library of Congress]
* [http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/110686b.htm Statement on Signing the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986]
* [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/14/AR2006091401179.html September 2006 article by Mazzoli and Simpson revisiting the legislation in the current political climate]
* [http://www.migrationpolicy.org/events/050906.php "Independent Task Force on Immigration and America’s Future"] Migration Policy Institute]


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