FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND IMMIGRATION REFORMS
On November 20 2014, President Obama spoke on immigration and stated, “We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship”. The United States of America has existed as a country with many immigrants originating from those who initially crossed the bridge that connected North America and Asia years ago. By the 16th century, the initiatory Europeans led by the French and the Spanish had started establishing their settlements in what would emerge as the United States. The English established their initial permanent settlements in the United States of America, the Virginia Colony at Jamestown. In 1886, the erection of the Statue of Liberty on an island in the New York Harbor saw millions of individuals including women, children and men from virtually every corner of the world arriving and starting new lives in America. These people came into a country settled by individuals from other regions and lands, a nation developed and founded by the immigrants and their offspring. There has been no migration in all recorded history to match it. Therefore, President Obama together with the United States’ Congress must find humanitarian solutions to the crisis of immigration involving millions of individuals including children, women and men who leave their homelands in search of their American dream. Moreover, the Federal Government should support the Executive Action of the President on all levels on deferring for the noncriminal and undocumented immigrants whose living in the United States has had significant contribution to the economy and national security of the American society.
STEPS GOVERNMENT SHOULD TAKE TO SOLVE THE IMMIGRATION PROBLEM
According to President Obama’s common sense proposal for immigration reform, the government should take four elemental steps of solving the immigration problem. The first step is continuing to strengthen the border security. Doubling the number of agents of border patrol has resulted in a stronger border security. The proposal of the President provides law enforcement and the tools required to make the US community safer from crime. Through enhancing border security in terms of technology and infrastructure, the country and continue strengthening its ability to remove the criminals deemed to be illegal immigrants and prosecute the national security threats. The second step is to crack down on the companies and organizations hiring the undocumented workers. Businesses in the United States should only employ the individuals with legal authorization to work in the country. The business organizations and institutions that knowingly employ the undocumented workers are perceived to exploit the system and gain advantage over other businesses. As such, the reform has to stop such unfair practices of hiring and hold the involved companies accountable. The third step is through earned citizenship. The immigration reform should provide the undocumented immigrants with a legal way of earning citizenship that will encourage these individuals to come into the light and start paying taxes and living by the given rules and laws as everyone else. The illegal immigrants should be held responsible for their actions through passing of criminal and national security background checks, paying the required taxes and learning English before earning their citizenship. Moreover, there will be no uncertainty concerning their capacity to become citizens of the United States if they meet the provided eligibility criteria. The immigration reform should not punish the innocent young individuals brought to the country by their parents and provide them with a chance of earning citizenship more quickly if they pursue higher education or serve in the military. The forth step is streamlining the legal immigration, which should involve rewarding any individual willing to work hard and abide by the laws of the country. For the sake of the economy and security of the country, the legal immigration has to be efficient. The immigration reforms should attract the best minds to the country through the provision of visas to the foreign entrepreneurs seeking to establish businesses in the country. Additionally, the attraction can involve assisting the most promising graduate students from foreign countries in math and science to stay in the country after graduating.
Immigrants promote the economy of the United States. John F Kennedy once suggested that every single aspect of the economy of the United States has profited majorly from the contributions of then immigrants. Immigrants originate from all corners of the world. As such, the diverse knowledge, ideologies, and perspectives enhance entrepreneurship and innovation, which are the real stimuli for job creating (Michael and Preston). The key economic benefit of giving pathways to earned citizenship is through bringing the immigrant workers into light. As such, they will can find above ground employment opportunities, advance their career lines and contribute fully to the economy. Historically, the United States has been a magnet for hardworking and capable immigrants seeking opportunities and better lives. Various studies show that the passing of comprehensive reforms on immigration will increase the gain in economy by over $1.5 trillion in ten years and decrease the deficit by approximately $1 trillion in twenty years (Michael and Preston). The immigrants do not only exists as exceptional innovators and workers, but also are highly entrepreneurial. A study revealed that immigrants started 25% of the venture capital organizations and companies between 1991 and 2006 (Birdsong Leonard). Another study conducted by Partnership for a New American Economy revealed that the immigrants founded over 40% of the Fortune 500 companies. With a slow population growth and an aging workforce in America, the country needs more workers. As such, immigration can boost the economy through adding workers and making the labor force more dynamic and younger. The broken immigration system threatens the family unit. Such a system imposes unnecessary waiting times for sponsorships, which leaves millions of families and individuals waiting for unification for long periods. The strength of America as a nation also originates from the strength of the families. According to a report in November 2012 of the advocacy group based in New York, at least 5,100 children are currently living in foster cares. Such children are prevented from uniting with their deported or detained parents. If there is no humane change in the immigration policies, approximately 15,000 more children are likely to face such a fate in five years time (Birdsong Leonard). Having children in the foster care is costly to the government. Unfavorable and less humanitarian immigration policies will increase the number of children in foster care. As such, maintaining the children in these foster care institutions will cost the citizens and the government more money. Keeping and maintaining the family unit would be beneficial to all parties. The situations of undocumented victims of gender-based violence or domestic abuse could be more tragic with unfavorable and less humanitarian immigration policies (Spickard Paul). That is, staying with either the abusers and suffering the violent attacks or risking the detention and possible loss of children through speaking out. Instead of enhancing the deportation of hardworking and nation building citizens, the President and the Federal Government have to use those resources to deport the perceived gang members. The priority will reduce the instances of tragic losses when families become separated by unnecessary deportations.
The individuals against the claim also argue that the illegal immigrants increase the competition for jobs, hence taking jobs from the American workers. There is also a belief that the United States has at least 11 million residents who are illegal and nearly one million arrive in the country every year (Clarence Page). As such, opponents argue that the undocumented immigrants increase the potential for territories that enter the United States. However, studies reveal that most of the Americans would notice a minimal difference in their payments if the illegal immigrants were to disappear from the United States. Clarence Page supports that the Americans do not hook themselves on cheap labor as much as they do at cheap prices (Clarence Page). As such, illegal immigration becomes attractive because the cheaper labor results in cheaper prices for the services or the goods that the cheap labor produces. The issue of border security also suggests the need for having humanitarian policies of immigration and foreign relations in the United States. For instance, on 14 November 2007, there was a fire outbreak at the Anchorage Inn, a landmark near the US-Quebec border in Rouses Point (Bischoff Henry). Under the mutual aid agreement, firefighters from Quebec were called by the local county for help. However, the US CBP officials stopped a Canadian truck of firefighters and by the time these officials were determined to permit the firefighters into the country, the structure had already burned to the ground. However, according to Richard Gonzales, the immigrants represent a minimal percentage of the healthcare expenses in the United States and use the emergency rooms less frequently than the native citizens do. Gonzales argues that the rising cost in the healthcare system is a result of managed care and malpractice awards and not the uninsured illegal or undocumented immigrants. Although the immigrants pay the Medicare payroll and other provided taxes, they often receive less than half as much of the healthcare as native-born families. Additionally, the immigrant children receive 74% less of the healthcare than the US-born children receive (Gonzales Richard).
On the other hand, opponents have argued that immigration is a disadvantage to the United States. As such, opponents hold that President together with the United States’ Congress should not find humanitarian solutions to the crisis of immigration involving millions of individuals including children, women and men who leave their homelands in search of their American dream (Bischoff Henry). Moreover, they maintain that there have to be radical measures of dealing with immigrants because of the negative effects that they pose to the country. First, one of the potential disadvantages of immigration in the United States is the cost that it places on the taxpayers and the government agencies. For the Department of Homeland Security that administers the immigrations and US citizenship services to ensure no immigrants represent threats to the country, it requires expenditure at various levels, including processing citizenship, personal interviews, naturalization testing for the new immigrants and background checks (Bischoff Henry). The undocumented immigrants who are not taxpaying citizens place a financial strain on the American system of operation and organization. Such immigrants move to the impoverished regions of the country where they join the already overwhelmed job market. As such, the immigrants who fail securing an elaborate means of support may end up relying on the federal and local social services like subsidized housing or food stamps (Birdsong Leonard). As such, they strain the entire system of financial operations. Undocumented immigrants can lead to policy problems in the country. Despite having favorable and humanitarian immigration policies by the President, the Congress or the federal government, states can adopt policies or laws that restrict rights of the immigrants. As an example of such problems is the controversial law of 2010 in Arizona (Birdsong Leonard). This law required that the immigrants show proof of their legal status when asked by the police. As such, there is an emergence of political tension surrounding the immigration policies, which can make the immigration prospect to the United States daunting for anti-immigrant discrimination. Immigrants have been associated with public assistance and poverty. There is a growing education gap between the native citizens and the recent immigrants (Birdsong Leonard). As a result, most of the immigrants have access to low-income jobs and are likely to rely on the public assistance (Anderson Stuart). Since the local and state governments pay most of the welfare benefits, the native citizens in states that have high immigrant levels pay more in terms of taxes to assist in the support of the indigent immigrants. Immigration has always been associated with population increase. It is one of the most significant factors that contribute to the population increase in the United States. According to the Center for Migration Studies, the increase is due not only to the numbers of the immigrants, but also to their greater tendency of having more offspring than the native citizens have. It is predictable that by 2050, the United States will reach 439 million in terms of population with the immigrants making up 70% of the total increase in that population (Anderson Stuart). A large percentage of immigrants are associated with violence and drugs and such individuals not require humanitarian policies. The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs suggests that up to 90% of the cocaine sold in the US is smuggled through Mexico (Alden Edward). Moreover, Mexico is the world’s largest producer of marijuana and methamphetamine. Most of the undocumented Mexican immigrants have been found trying to smuggle drugs into the United States. Moreover, the violence of the drug cartels of Mexico and other immigrant groups as well is finding its way across the American border. Wage suppression is another elemental disadvantage caused by the undocumented immigrants. Many immigration and labor analysts believe that that the undocumented immigrants have a negative impact on the job opportunities and wages for the low-skill workers. As such, the downward pressure on the ages is so immense that there is a need for all-out efforts to crack down on the companies and organizations that hire the undocumented workers (Anderson Stuart). Lastly, undocumented immigrants affect the technological costs. The unskilled immigrants fill a considerable need in many manufacturing sectors of the United States economy (Alden Edward). However, since there is a considerably large pool of unskilled and cheap immigrant labor, it could lead the employers to fail to adopt new technology.
The immigration reform has to establish a fair process that respects family unity and human dignity. Breaking down the legal barriers for the undocumented workers would lead to immediate gains in the economy and long-term benefits for the American society (Spickard Paul). The authorization would increase the existent substantial consumption and spending power of the unauthorized residents. Additionally, the anticipated effects would ripple through the national economy. Offering an avenue for citizenship to the millions of undocumented residents will expand the economy because this group of individuals will invest in education, find gainful employment and pay taxes. Granting of legal status for the unauthorized immigrants would also strengthen the national social safety net (Herman Richard). The immigration policies should also consider the process of child welfare and immigration enforcement to ensure that the families do not separate and allow parents to make favorable decisions for the custody and care of their children. A signed executive order by President Obama would allow for up to five million undocumented individuals, especially the non-citizens to move into the light of the Society of America and boost the economy. A united workforce is strong and the labor movement gains more strength when open to all the workers regardless of their origin (Herman Richard).
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