Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
A Mexican man peers through the U.S.-Mexico border wall in San Ysidro, Calif.
A Mexican man peers through the U.S.-Mexico border wall in San Ysidro, Calif. Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
One of the sticking points that caused the Senate to deadlock on rewriting America's immigration laws was a proposed point system for allocating visas. Critics said that the point system favored educated, highly skilled immigrants — at the expense of low-skilled laborers.
While backers say a point system would bring the best and brightest immigrants to America, others claim it would do little to stop the future flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico and Latin America.
Analysis of the point system by the Migration Policy Institute shows that immigrants from Asia and India would get preference over laborers from Mexico and other Latin American countries.
And since educated immigrants are less likely to fill low-paying manual labor jobs, a demand for illegal immigrants willing to do that work would be created.
Discussion of the plan has also exposed the difficulty of gauging future flows of immigrants to the United States.
Roberto Suro, of the Pew Hispanic Center, says that a new generation of Mexicans is just beginning to make its way to the United States.
"If those migrant streams really fully play themselves out," Suro said, "and you get a lot family reunification and the kind of chain migration that we've seen from other parts of Mexico, then that could play itself out for another 25-30 years."