The United States is home to over three-hundred million immigrants [ref]http://www.census.gov/popclock[/ref]; our prominence is attributed to this diversity. Yet today, the word “immigration” has unduly become synonymous with Illegal Mexican Immigration, therefore, tainting the term as a whole. Sparking a genuine discourse on immigration policy requires accurate statistics, along with separating illegal immigration from an entire ethnic group.
Legal immigration has given the U.S. our comparative advantage – the best and brightest from all over the world come here and it has also allowed us to protect the poor and those fleeing from other countries. However, illegal immigration has dampened that advantage. As of 2014, over 11.7 million illegal immigrants reside in the U.S. Many of them do not pay taxes, but still reap the state benefits, such as public education, welfare, student aid, healthcare, etc.[ref]http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/us/immigrant-population-shows-signs-of-growth-estimates-show.html?_r=0[/ref] This, in turn, has added to our federal deficit, which is currently over eighteen-trillion dollars, forcing the government to further cut spending from various essential programs for all Americans. American taxpayers are then deprived of U.S. resources, and the poor are left with even less.[ref]https://softwareupdaterlp.com/campaign.php?ID=trillmstrcpi2&sub=trillmstrcpi2&S2=wTAP8C73QI3EP8PH0NPBA54M[/ref] Despite the fact that illegals in the U.S. endure hard labor, contribute to our society and are paid low wages for it, the fact remains that illegal is criminal by law, and no laws can exist for something illegitimate. That is an oxymoron. The Vendetta therefore, is putting a stop to the bleeding of illegals flocking to the U.S., and mainly, dealing with the 11.7 million undocumented people, but in a moral and economical manner.
Currently, the U.S.’ only protocol upon discovering an illegal immigrant is deportation. Yet this policy has negative implications, one of them being, it affects our national image and in turn, our foreign policy. Many illegal immigrants have been residing in the U.S. for over twenty-five years, and they have children and grandchildren, along with deep roots in their respected communities. Merely deporting these individuals represents a rather archaic and inhumane short-term solution. From a more practical and economic standpoint, determining specific logistics, particularly how to find these illegal immigrants, and who exactly would fund this policy, proves to be problematic as well.
In early 2014, President Obama and the “gang of eight,” a bipartisan group with four democrats and four republicans, introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
- Allow undocumented immigrants in the U.S a pathway to citizenship (residency in U.S. before 12/31/11)
- Immigrants would have to pay a fine, any back taxes owed, pass a background check and have no criminal record
- Enable them to apply for legal permanent resident status (Green Card)i
- Increase Border Security:
- U.S. Customs & Border Protection by 3,500 by 2017
- Construction of double layer fence along parts of the Mexico–US border iv
- Mandated an E-verify System
- An Internet-based, free program that uses the Verification Form (I-9) to data from U.S. government records
The bill, in essence, creates a pool of new citizen taxpayers that can help lower the national debt. The proposition also completes several of the visas currently in-process, halting the mass backlog in applications. Moreover, creating an all-employer e-verify system disallows any exploitation or intimidation for cheap labor; only legal immigrants could be hired. These provisions are feasible and in some cases inevitable for any future Immigration legislation, but its validity lies in its enforcement.
Additionally, 11.7 million newly registered people may flood the system, and increase spending on welfare, social security, and other programs. But perhaps more importantly, having a comprehensive immigration bill can also be significantly intensive. In 2007, George W. Bush attempted to ease the same situation. But with so many provisions attached, the comprehensive immigration reform bill became politicized, and was ultimately defeated in the Senate, 34 – 61.[ref]http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/document.php?id=cqal07-1006-44907-2047763[/ref] Comprehensive bills possess too many moving pieces that affect each other and are hard to implement; prominent provisions such as border control and e-verify are then lost in translation. The Affordable Health Care is a good example of how a comprehensive bill comes with severe side effects.
Newer legislations for Illegal Immigration should best be done through a Piecemeal Process, where each new provision becomes a single law; the bill is simplified, easier for passing and implementation. Also, the U.S. government desperately needs to stop wasting taxpayer’s money on current laws that are not being upheld – such as on border security (national guards and fencing) and background checks; reinforcement of such laws is an essential part of the solution. To keep our integrity, however, for any immigration legislation that comes up, the focus should be on how it would/affect(s) current Americans first and then future Americans entering legally.