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Does the US need immigration reform?

Ian Brimacombe Ian Brimacombe | 09:29 UK time, Tuesday, 18 May 2010

immigration.jpgHi, Ian here from World Update.

Last month the state of Arizona passed America's toughest law on illegal immigration.

Police now have the right to detain people on "reasonable suspicion" of being illegal immigrants.
According to a recent ABC News Poll 59 percent of Americans approve of the law.

The issue has generated a lot of discussion over the past couple of weeks, including here on the WHYS blog. Now, it's back in spotlight as the Mexican President, Felipe Calderon visits Washington.

President Calderon has called the law discriminatory, and has warned that Mexican relations with the US border states will suffer as a result.
He said,

"The law opens the door to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement".

As the US primary season gets underway, the issue has people talking once again about immigration reform in the US. Nevada Senator, Harry Reid has called for Republicans and Democrats to join forces to pass a new federal law.

And under pressure from critics on the right, Arizona Senator, John McCain has softened his past support for reform, and has adopted a much tougher line on securing the borders.
For his part, President Obama has strongly criticised the Arizona law, saying it undermines the basic notions of fairness. He has warned Congress that the absence of federal action will only encourage "misguided efforts" such as those in Arizona.

Some now believe that immigration reform will be the next big challenge for his presidency.

So what do you think? Does the US need to reform its immigration laws? What should that reform look like? And is an overhaul of the existing laws realistic before the midterm elections in November?

We'll be exploring the issue of US immigration reform in a special World Update this Thursday. Join us on Facebook and Twitter


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