Immigration reform

8 August 2016

No matter the political party, most can agree that America’s immigration system is broken. The steps toward fixing the entire immigration process include everything from border security and amnesty plans, to employment eligibility, and everything in between. While democrats are pushing for quick reforms, a compromise between the two parties is far from settled. With nearly 11 million immigrants predicted to be here illegally, efforts to fix immigration seem more than necessary. Both Democrats and Republicans agree that border security is a definite step in the process to fix immigration.

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Reforms concerning border security would include adding more personnel, new technology, and better physical borders. Personnel is suspected to nearly double. New technology includes ground sensors and technology that enable border personnel to respond quicker to border infringements (Bash and Barrett). For republicans, security is a top priority. The GOP not only relate illegal immigration to this insufficient security but also believe it would prevent transports of illegal contraband, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and other types of cartel activity.

Democrats also see the need for the heightened security. President Barack Obama and his administration have developed a plan that involves an increased enforcement of laws concerning illegal immigration and fraudulent action such as creating false documentation of citizenship. Stricter penalties for things such as this are expected to be mentioned in the proposed bill (The White House). Along with enforcement near the border, the bill will show efforts to “crack down” on employers that consciously give work to illegal immigrants.

Program such as E-Verify (employment verification) may be placed mandatory to all employers 10 years after a bill concerning immigration reform is passed. These programs will use government databases, like social security, to make sure that the employees are eligible to work (The White House). Barrett and Bash from CNN suggest that “fraud-resistant, tamper-resistant biometric Social Security cards would be issued to prevent the hiring of illegal immigrants. Fines for knowingly hiring someone not eligible for employment would be increased by 300 percent.

Repeat offenders would face time in prison. ” This will help prevent illegal immigrants from creating false documentation and identity fraud, and discourage others to migrate to the United States illegally. Next are the amnesty plans. Mainly supported by democrats, amnesty plans such as the DREAM act would give immigrants, specifically minors, a chance to become legal U. S. citizens. To be eligible, they must have come to the United States before they were sixteen years old and must be between the ages of twelve and thirty five.

Those looking to gain citizenship through a plan such as the DREAM act would also more than likely have to pass a background check, have graduated from high school, lived in the U. S. for a certain period of time, and a few other stipulations such as paying taxes and fees. Immigrants that have been accepted to and attending a college or serving in the military could may be able to qualify to be a permanent residence. Most republicans disagree with these sorts of plans.

Many feel it would go against the law and encourage others to immigrate to the United States illegally rather than solving the current issues and preventing the same from happening in the future. Although most republicans oppose the amnesty route toward immigrations solutions but they too have come up with their own compromises in a bipartisan proposal, created by the “Gang of 8. ” This group is a total of eight senators made up of both democratic and republican parties. The name of their bill is the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.

” This is similar to the dream act in providing a path for immigrants to legally obtain citizenship. This bill grants 3 billion dollars for increased border security including: Surveillance, more officers and agents, and UAV flight systems and operators. Since the border is the Republican’s main priority, the bill will include a “Border Security Goal,” stating how they hope to achieve a “90% effectiveness rate” in such affairs. The legalization process is a clear step toward compromise between the two parties. It states that those here illegally will have to pay a $500 fee, except for DREAM act students.

Felons and repeat offenders will not be eligible for registered provisional immigrant status. After 10 years, five for DREAM act students, immigrants will be eligible to apply for permanent residency if they have paid all of their fees and taxes they owed in their time within the United States (Outline of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013). Democrats and Republicans are split on the effects that immigration reforms offer to the economy of the United States. Democrats feel that the “modernization” of immigration will benefit the U. S.

By expanding the economy, thus creating more jobs not only for immigrants but American workers as well. On the other hand, GOP member seem to think these new immigration reforms will take jobs from Americans and actually damper the economy. Republicans think allowing illegal immigrants an opportunity to citizenship isn’t fair to the American labor force. Low-skill U. S. workers are predicted to be challenged by incoming immigrants because they are willing to work for lower wages.

However, studies done by the Center For American Progress show that legalization can actually build the economy by an estimated 1.4 trillion dollars over the next ten years and create 203,000 jobs annually (The Economic Effects of Granting Legal Status). Therefor an increase in the number of work visas handed out is expected. In the Outline of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, the number of visas given for skilled immigrants will increase from 65,000 to 110,000. There bill also states will likely be an increase in temporary work visas as well, but there will be certain laws prohibiting such in areas that have higher unemployment rates.

This will help ensure the American work force has a fair opportunity in the economy. Illegal immigrants working in agricultural areas can become legal through the AgJOBS program. This is a “contract-based” visa. American immigration laws are obviously far from perfect and the steps and processes to mending Democratic and Republican views are debatable. A quick solution for this problem is of great importance. Until reforms are made, America faces economic, industrial, and security dilemmas. Bipartisan efforts and compromise are needed in order to fix the United States’ broken immigration system.

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