What can we expect by way of immigration reform and policy changes in 2008? My prediction is that not much will change from this year. The overall tone on the issue will remain negative and we are unlikely to see any changes to the legal immigration system, such as more H-1B visas or other temporary programs.
The rhetoric against the undocumented will continue to be a hot topic on slow news days, and enforcement will increase, especially as efforts that started being put into play this year start to take effect. By the end of the year, there will have been a fair number of undocumented who would have returned to their countries of origin voluntarily, although this will be a very small percentage of the 10 to 20 million estimated to be in the US. States will continue to try to implement their own immigration laws on both sides of the spectrum, some will welcome the undocumented and many will repel them. Existing businesses may move out of those states that have heavily punish them for hiring the undocumented (such as Arizona) to other states or may outsource some work to other countries.
Most would agree that 2007 was a terrible year for those who would have liked to have seen improvements to our broken immigration system. 2008 is not expected to be much better, mainly because it will be an election year.
I wish all of you a happy, healthy and successful New Year!