The U.S. has been faced with a period of mass immigration during the last decade. There are more than 1 million immigrants who enter the U.S. legally as well as illegally. There are those who contend that the issue of mass immigration is significant in its assist in the sustenance of the nation’s success. However, others believe that even though the U.S. was created by immigrants, it is high time that the United States border should be shut down. The fact is that there will be issues with relating to immigration as well as the policies that have been set forth by the government so as to control who gets into the nation and those who goes out. In addition, currently more than ever, the immigration policy has a greater influence upon the American citizens due to the fact that the U.S. is facing danger in relation to terrorism. In addition, the new guest-worker program, a proposal by President George Bush raises more concerns in relation to immigration.
The Immigration Policy
The United States immigration policy has for a long time been a benchmark for political debate as policy makers consider the need to maintain an international competitiveness through drawing of top talent as opposed to the need to control illegal immigration as well as secure the United States borders. Recently, the debate has shifted focus to how to restructure a comprehensively bureaucratic visa application process as well as tackle the undocumented immigrants who are at present in the U.S. - especially young people whose parents had brought them here. In addition, there is a consideration regarding the implementation of the policy at the lowest level without putting in danger the trust of the public within immigrant communities.
The federal legislation on a complete reformation of the immigration policy has stalled during the recent years. During his first term as President, President Barack Obama’s administration was inclined towards policies that are enforcement-based in curbing illegal immigration. Meanwhile, restrictive immigration laws as the state-level have emphasized the unclear divide between the state as well as federal authority above immigration policy. Nevertheless, after Obama’s re-election in 2012, both his administration as well as the Congressional lawmakers have indicated a fresh willingness to make a bipartite effort in addressing the comprehensive reform of the immigration policy. This paper will look into an overview of the present debate on reform of immigration policy as well as state what the immigration policy ought to be like over the next two decades.
Status of the Present Immigration Policy: According to Allport (2010), there exists a divided public discourse concerning the debate of illegal immigration. There are people who argue that the immigrants who are not documented are a form of an economic drain whereas others consider them as an economic boon. In addition, others contend that workers who are undocumented in the U.S. grab job opportunities that would otherwise belong to the American workers. There are those who contend that the issue of mass immigration is significant in its assist in the sustenance of the nation’s success. However, others believe that even though the U.S. was created by immigrants, it is high time that the United States border should be shut down. The fact is that there will be issues with relating to immigration as well as the policies that are set forth by the government so as to control who gets into the nation and those who goes out. In addition, currently more than ever, the immigration policy has a greater influence upon the American citizens because the U.S. is facing danger in relation to terrorism. In the meantime, there is a contention among many experts that legal immigration ought to be made more effective so as to prevent illegal immigration as well as attract skillful foreign workers. However, the debate regarding illegal immigration has barricaded the advancement on comprehensive reform. The current US migration framework is unsustainable, essentially, monetarily, and ethically. With another presidential term and another openness to examine movement change, President Obama and Congress ought to seize this chance to make a more attractive, more compelling, and more altruistic migration framework.
The current immigration policy is something that ought not to be considered through the idea that the only individuals who come to the U.S. nowadays are illegal immigrants. The truth is that when the subject of immigration crops up, the first thing that normally people think of is that immigration is the same as illegal immigration. Nevertheless, the U.S. immigration policy responds to a lot of diverse yet important questions regarding the nature of the American society. For instance, who as well as what type of person ought to be permitted to be a member of the U.S. society? Should the United States continue allowing foreigners the alternative of entrance into the country?
Enforcement-Based Approach towards Illegal Immigration: the federal government has employed an enforcement-based approach towards immigration management under the administration of President Obama. There are approximately 20,000 patrol agents within the United States borders, a number that is twice that which was employed a decade ago. Council on Foreign Relations, Bush, McLarty & Alden (2009) assert that “There has as well been a conduct of many countrywide immigration sweeps so as to arrest criminal offenders who are not documented, as well as increase audits for companies that employ unauthorized workers. In addition, a high number of deportation since 2011” (p.76).
There have been an expansion of the Secure Communities program by the Obama administration since 2008 that facilitates the local laws enforcers to share the arrestees’ fingerprints with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in order to examine their status as well as the criminal history for likely deportation (West & Brookings Institution, 2010).
There are many criticisms on the policies employed by the federal government by both the advocates as well as hardliners of immigration. Most conservatives contend that the Obama’s administration is not achieving enough in the curbing of illegal immigration as it facilitates the remedial of thousands of low-level offenders within the nation, amounting to "backdoor amnesty." Daniels (2014) assert that “in order to further curb illegal immigration, there have been suggestions of expanding the fence that separates the U.S. and Mexico”.
In contrast, the advocates of the rights of immigrants argue that the enforcement-heavy approach inculcates a culture of fear among the immigrant communities. Nevertheless, many analysts are in support of comprehensive immigration reform which places emphasis on streamlining legal pathways towards citizenship, as well as enforcement policies.
Reformation of Legal Immigration: there is a need to reform the cumbersome visa as well as citizenship process for the U.S. immigrants, especially the young and skilled foreign workers in fields like science and technology, so as to make sure that the nation retains its global competitiveness. According to Hofstetter (2006), the U.S. visa systems have for long been stumbled by long periods. The United States gives 140,000 green cards annually for employment-based immigrants (Allport, 2010). Within Congress, there are different proposals that have been established so as to enhance this process, in addition to the bipartite Startup Act 2.0 that will introduce a “startup visa” for the foreign entrepreneurs who exhibit the intention to create businesses as well as jobs within the U.S., in addition to avert individual country quotas on visas.
During the past, the DREAM Act has as well turned out to be an imperative component of the U.S. immigration debate. This Act would offer a pathway towards citizenship for youths who have not been documented, and who entered into the United States as children in the company of their parents. The bill, which was initially introduced in 2001 has recurrently stalled in Congress, as it was passed late in 2010 but failed to gather adequate votes to trounce a Senate filibuster. According to Allport (2010), proponents of the DREAM Act assert that it is a vital measure for safeguarding undocumented youths who never chose to immigrate to the U.S. whereas critics assert that it will encourage others to illegally enter the nation with the hopes of ultimately obtaining a permanent residence for their young ones (Allport, 2010, p.98).
Outlook for Complete Reform: during the past, some bipartisan support has been has v-been given to comprehensive immigration reform that would enhance implementation policies as well as legal immigration processes