063_miranda - Copyright (c) 1998 School of Law, Santa Clara...

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Copyright (c) 1998 School of Law, Santa Clara University Santa Clara Law Review 1998 38 Santa Clara L. Rev. 645 UNITED STATES COMMISSION ON IMMIGRATION REFORM: THE INTERIM AND FINAL REPORTS Carlos Ortiz Miranda * * Associate General Counsel, United States Catholic Conference. B.A. 1976, University of Puerto Rico; J.D. 1980, Antioch School of Law; LL.M. 1983, Georgetown University Law Center. Adjunct Professor, Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Catholic Conference. *645 I. Introduction and Legislative Background Immigration law and policy in Congress during the latter part of the twentieth century has been formulated, in large part, by the recommendations made by commissions established through legislation. The first of these commissions was the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy ("Select Commission"), created in 1978. n1 Major immigration policy recommendations made by the Select Commission eventually became law through two legislative enactments; one dealing with illegal immigration, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 ("IRCA"), n2 the other with legal immigration, the Immigration Act of 1990 ("1990 Act"). n3 The 1990 Act - a comprehensive overhaul of the entire legal immigration system - established a successor commission to the Select Commission, the Commission on Legal Immigration Reform ("the Commission"). n4 This Commission was originally chartered to review and make recommendations related to legal immigration. n5 However, in 1991 Congress removed the word "legal," leaving the Commission latitude to address a variety of immigration policy issues. n6 At the time of the Commission's establishment, certain Congressional members interested in immigration issues praised it because "never again will we have to wait twenty five years to reform our immigration laws." n7 Indeed, the Interim Reports submitted by the Commission to Congress have been the basis for certain statutory changes to the body of immigration law before the Commission's work concluded with publication of its Final Report in September 1997. While accepting some of the Commission's policy recommendations, Congress rejected other major ones made in the Interim Reports. n8 The bi-partisan Commission consisted of nine members, and the President appointed its chairperson. n9 Its immediate mission was to review specific topics such as family-based and employment-based visas; the impact of immigration reform on social, demographic and natural resources; foreign policy and national security; per county levels on family-sponsored immigration; adjustment of status and asylees; numerical limitations on certain nonimmigrants; and diversity immigration. n10
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063_miranda - Copyright (c) 1998 School of Law, Santa Clara...

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