Immigration Reform: Closer to Reality or Destined for Failure?
Immigration Reform: Closer to Reality or Destined for Failure? In the present day, the United States is an open country for migrant workers who seek temporary employment or students who wish to study at American colleges and universities. Nevertheless, permanent residence and citizenship are still barely attainable for most immigrants. The reason why I chose to talk about immigration reform is that it relates to my life and what I have seen and heard about immigrants.
I immigrated to the United States, and it is really sad to know that many immigrants who are here have not seen their families in a long time; some people go more than fifteen years without seeing their family members. I understand how they must feel because I have not seen my parents in more than eight years; my kid met his grandparents for the first time at the age of seven years. No one knows what it is like to be immigrant until one is in an immigrant’s shoes. America always has been good for immigrants, and immigrants have been good for America.
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Over the past several decades immigration policy has become increasingly confusing and unfocused. Today, immigration policy is mostly debated at the extremes between those who want no immigrants and those who want no borders, implying that immigration is an all-or-nothing proposition. At the current time, the United States is dealing with the controversial question of how to treat 12 million illegal immigrants in the country. The reality is that most people are just desperate to see a solution.
Barack Obama supports immigration reform that strengthens border security while creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country. He has been a proponent of guest worker programs that offer available jobs to American workers. President Barack Obama promised to continue to press the House to move on immigration reform and asked others to join in. I intend to prove that immigration reform is very important and that lawmakers should choose to adopt smart, thoughtful laws that look toward the future needs of this country, not give in to nativist fear or destructionists who seek to defeat this bill.
Many things have changed in just a few months. Last May, Republicans and Democrats could not agree on any aspect of immigration reform. However, in May of this year, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a far-reaching immigration bill, clearing the way for a debate in the full Senate (Hernandez, para. 1). President Barack Obama said in a statement, “Today, the Senate did its job. It is now up to the House to do the same. As this process moves forward, I urge everyone who cares about this issue to keep a watchful eye.
Now is the time when opponents will try their hardest to pull this bipartisan effort apart so they can stop commonsense reform from becoming a reality. We cannot let that happen” (Foley, para. 29-30). I posit that the immigration bill is worth having and that the House of Representatives should pass it as well. People deserve the right to a bright future, and no one should deny anyone of that right. With that being said, I argue that the United States immigration system does have errors in it that need addressing, but in my opinion, this bill would be beginning of better changes.
Yes, coming into the country illegally is wrong; I will agree, but if lawmakers will create a better way for immigrants to become citizens legally, then United States would have fewer illegal immigrants than there are now. Some may say that finding ways for people from other countries to come into ours is not our responsibility, but I believe that it is. People are people no matter what nationality they are, language they speak, or cultural background they have. We all want the same thing, a good successful life. Who knows?
That little boy who immigrates to America may grow up to discover the cure for cancer or AIDs one day and change the world, so we should not count anyone out. However, with the increasing rates of immigration, many are afraid that we will lose some aspects of American daily life such as education and culture. Paral says, “Many people say that immigration is extremely important in this country and should be used and taken advantage of as much as possible, without immigration, legal and illegal, our work force would not be half as efficient and strong as it is now.
Without this large mass of working people, it would leave a gap in our economy” (para. 34). It is shown in many places that immigrants have made this country a better, more sustainable place to be. Allowing immigrants within the country also allows the spread of diverse knowledge, religion, culture, etc. Immigration reform can also benefit the country by educating people about other cultures. Immigration can also cause population equality. For example, if many people come from an over-populated country to the United States, this type of relocation will balance these populations in a way that can benefit both of the countries.
Someone may say that illegal immigrants come here to take jobs and that they do not pay taxes, but this statement is not always true. When immigrants go to get their paychecks, they also have to pay taxes, and a lot of times; they get more taken away than they should. They cannot claim that money at the end of the year. When they go to any store, they also have to pay sales tax. We all know that most Americans will not do some jobs. For example, the farmers do not have a choice but to hire immigrants because they know that immigrants will work hard for every penny.
One woman could not find anyone else willing to dig and haul from sunup to sundown. She employs illegal immigrants because they are the best workers she has ever had. She says, “I couldn’t have built my business without them, and neither could anyone else in my industry” (Collins, para. 6). All of those who claim that they cannot find jobs are obviously not trying hard enough or are just high school drop outs because if an unskilled and illiterate illegal immigrant is coming to the United States and taking the jobs, chances are many people did not take advantage of going to school to learn like they are supposed to.
Opponents of immigration reform argued that government spend a lot of tax money on immigration and border control. Kanstroom says, “America is wasting the money on immigration and controlling the border and the best way for America not to loose their money is by sending everyone back where they came from so we can have opening jobs that Americans need” (para. 23). However, giving amnesty to immigrants in the United States is not only beneficial to receivers, but it is also beneficial to the country.
Amnesty would help fix states’ financial woes. “It would help fix Sacramento’s budget crisis by increasing the state and local tax base by about $350 million in the short run” said USC economist Manuel Pastor on the report (McManus, para. 18). Now it is a time to be thinking in the long run about how comprehensive immigration reform can work for California in particular. If illegal immigrants had legal status, Latino workers would make more money and increase spending, investment and contributions to the state, local and national economy.
Immigrants would bolster the Social Security and Medicare systems and earn higher wages as a result of increased education and English skills. California stands to benefit significantly in terms of revenue and other kinds of income they bring into state. Amnesty is the dream of all the immigrants in this country, especially those whose dream is get somewhere in life. However, there are some people who dislike the idea of giving amnesty to illegal immigrants and forgiving them for disobeying the law.
Many kids who are actually in school, want to become someone in life, and have good grades cannot attend college because they are not legalized, and it is sad to know that after all the hard work they have done in school, they can not accomplish their goals because they do not have the opportunity to continue forward, and others who do have the opportunity do not take advantage of it. Elvia Flores is studying in college to become a nurse while working nearly full time to help pay her family’s bills, but she wonders if all the work and sacrifice is worth it.
She is hoping for passage of federal legislation that could help her achieves her goal to continue studying and finish college (Mena, para. 2). There are still many opportunities for the anti-reform crowd to derail this bill as it moves to the full floor. Opponents may attempt a filibuster or reintroduce amendments that were withdrawn in committee because those provisions lacked enough votes but could garner the necessary support. Of course, there is no telling what may happen in the House of Representatives. Still, I think there is reason for hope.
I believe that the bill is a step closer to reality, not failure. Immigration will always be an important issue in the United States, not because the issue is a perennial problem but because it is inextricably connected to the fundamental principles upon which this nation is founded. Because of that connection, it is imperative that policymakers take the time to think through and implement immigration policies that are consistent with these principles, the necessities of national security, and the great traditions and compassionate practices of America’s ongoing experiment in ordered liberty.