For over a decade, the U.S. congress has debated a major overhaul of the immigration system to address the nation’s approximately 11.2 million undocumented residents.
Numerous bills have been proposed, but none have passed. All would include a pathway to legal residency and eventually citizenship, increased border security, and various regulations of workers and employers. Legislation has remained stuck as tensions play out between those who claim to prioritize economic interests, national security, or social equality. These debates have catalyzed strong reactions by activists both for and against immigration reform. In the absence of congressional reform, the last decade has been epitomized by widespread activism, as well as action at the executive, state, and municipal levels.