The U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform (a.k.a. The Barbara Jordan Commission) final reports and recommendations to Congress: 1996-1997

The Jordan Commission

U. S. Commission on Immigration Reform [a.k.a. The Barbara Jordan Commission on Immigration]
As authorized by the Immigration Act of 1990, a bipartisan U. S. Commission on Immigration Reform was established. It was charged with reviewing and evaluating the implementation and impact of U. S. immigration policy and to report its findings and recommendations to Congress.

In 1994, President Clinton appointed retired Representative Barbara Jordan (D-Texas) as chairwoman of the Commission on Immigration Reform. She served in this position until her death on January 17, 1996. The final report of the commission was already outlined. It was released in 1997 and the Commission dissolved on December 31, 1997.

In their interim report, U. S. Immigration Policy: Restoring Credibility (1994), the goal of immigration policy was summarized in these words:

The credibility of immigration policy can be measured by a simple yardstick: people who should get in, do get in; people who should not get in are kept out; and people who are judged deportable are required to leave.

In their final report, Becoming An American: Immigration and Immigrant Policy (1997), the Commission called for:

  • Better integrating immigrants presently living in the U.S.
  • Reducing legal immigration by one-third
  • Moving towards more skill-based legal immigration and away from family chain migration
  • Enforce existing immigration laws more vigorously and with no further amnesties [as was a prime feature of the 1986 Immigration Reform & Control Act (IRCA)]
  • Re-organize the management of the immigration processes within the federal government
[See the Executive Summary] As Commission Chair Jordan observed, “it is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest.”

U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform