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Practical Solutions for Addressing the Immigration Challenge


It is clear that the U.S. immigration system as it stands today has not kept pace with the changing times, especially with America’s dramatic demographic shifts and its medium- and long-term labor market needs. Addressing the estimated 10.5 million undocumented immigrants residing in the United States is key to undertaking systemic immigration reform. This project, supported by a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation, develops frameworks and policy recommendations for resolving the immigration status of millions of undocumented migrants in the United States by exploring alternative solutions for conditional residency and work authorization.

Policy Workshop

On May 5, 2021, the Baker Institute Center for the United States and Mexico and Center for Houston’s Future held a workshop on the state of immigration in the United States and more specifically, the status of the U.S. undocumented resident population. The workshop involved 36 participants, including academic researchers, lawyers and other legal scholars, policy analysts, and on-the-ground immigration practitioners.

The workshop report is available here.


Pathways to Immigration: Prioritizing the Undocumented Population Residing in the United States by Tony Payan, Ph.D. and Pamela Lizette Cruz

Left on the Table: The Unrealized Economic Potential of the Undocumented Population by José Iván Rodríguez Sánchez, Ph.D.

A New Opportunity to Build a 21st-Century Immigration Court System by Elizabeth Mendoza, J.D.

Resurrecting the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) Program by Anna Ferri

The Quest for Elusive Reform: Undocumented Immigrants in a Polarized Nation by Daniel Tichenor, Ph.D.

The Materialization of a Dream: Creating a Pathway to Permanent Residency for DACA Recipients by Catherine Glazer, J.D.

Events and Activities 

Zoom screen showing various speakers


2021 Association for Borderlands Studies (ABS) Virtual Conference, April 15-17, 2021

Center for the United States and Mexico researchers Tony Payan, José Iván Rodríguez Sánchez, Pamela Cruz and commissioned research authors Daniel Tichenor, Anna Ferri and Catherine Glazer participated in a panel at the Association for Borderlands Studies (ABS) conference titled “Practical Solutions for Addressing the Immigration Challenge.” Authors presented their research and received feedback from attendees. View the full conference program here.

Podcast Episodes

External Publications