Broken Border: Immigration Reform in the Southwest

Our immigration system is broken.

An estimated 11 million people live in the United States without proper documentation. Visas available to bring in high skilled, or less-skilled, workers are hard to come by.
Visa backlogs have separated families for upward of 20 years.

We spent a staggering $18 billion on immigration enforcement last fiscal year. Yet people who want to cross, still do so.

Our series, Broken Border, peels apart the complex tangle of the debate to explore what matters.

We go from California farms to employers' offices in Arizona, ride along the southwest border with border patrol, open closed legislative doors to talk to key policy shapers, explore the impact of 11 million undocumented workers and ask:

What does Obama owe the Latino voters that brought him back to Washington?

As President Barack Obama prepares to once again take the Presidential Oath of Office, Washington D.C. is turning into Party Town. Latino elected officials and community leaders are celebrating, and growing expectations of Obama are mounting. Will he make good on his pledge to push for comprehensive immigration reform?
Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake are part of the so-called Gang of Eight, a bipartisan group in the Senate that’s hammering out a proposal.
The most contentious component of what President Obama is likely to include in his immigration overhaul proposal is a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. What might that look like in one industry with a high percentage of undocumented immigrant workers?
The latest in our Broken Border series looks at what border security really means and whether the United States has reached its goal.
Preventing employers from hiring undocumented immigrants is likely to be a key part of the upcoming debate over immigration reform. We look at what's happening on the ground in Arizona, after the state tried to require strict hiring practices five years ago.
As talk of immigration reform heats up, farmers want to streamline the guest worker program, while advocates generally oppose it.
In the 1980s, immigration reform was described as a three-legged stool: amnesty for undocumented immigrants, and border and workplace enforcement to prevent future ones.
Both the Senate and the President’s proposals for immigration reform agree the pathway to citizenship begins at the “back of the line.” But, there isn’t one line. And for families in certain lines, the wait is so long it’s like going back in time.