Mass immigration to the United States in search of better jobs has been a subject of discussion for decades. Policy makers have been faced with a complex situation to balance the need to attract foreign talent, while on the other side reduce the risks associated with illegal immigration. The current issue is to streamline the bureaucratic process of gaining visas to deal with thousands of illegal immigrants that are currently residing in the US. This is because; these immigrants play a significant role in building the economy of the state.
The Current Status of Immigration Debate
The issue of illegal immigration to the US is currently posing equal and contradicting issues. On one side, these immigrants are seen as having a significant positive contribution towards the economy while on the other side; they are considered to be leading to economic drain. It is argued that they grab jobs that are meant to be for Americans or they take up those jobs that Americans are unwilling to take. Hence, illegal immigration ought to be addressed so as to yield maximum benefits from the foreign workers while at the same time reducing the inherent risks. The US census that was reported in May 2012 show that more than half of all births in the US come from ethnic minorities.
US Response to Illegal Immigration
Illegal immigration to the US has been classified as a humanitarian crisis which calls for immediate actions. Statistics ‘however’ show that efforts to deal with this issue have strolled since the 20th century to the 21st and still in progress till date. It is evident that a lot more is needed to curb the situation other than stronger border enforcements. In 2006, the US government led by Bush who was the president at that time begun strengthening the security at the border. This was through enhancing both physical and technological infrastructure, increasing man power and other advanced technological ways to seal gaps at the borders. While a significant percentage of these improvements were put in place, there still exist more gaps which call for the current government to take a further step.
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The current president of the United States has a four part strategy that aims at reshaping the immigration status in the US. This strategy was among the chapters that won him interest of many to reelect him in the 2012 general election. President Obama made his people believe that there are fair and effective ways that can be used to deal with the issue of immigrants while ensuring respect is earned on both sides. He further said that common sense has to be used to ensure that US and the home countries of the immigrants receive respect in the way the immigrants are treated. Below are the four strategies of dealing with immigrants
Strengthen Security at the Borders
Long before Obama became the president of America, he expressed doubt in the number of police patrols at the borders. Other than increasing the number of the security force, Obama puts more emphasis on the tools used to curb crime associated with immigrants. Improved technology and better infrastructure have been put across to foster national security across the borders.
Secondly, president Obama proposed a national operation to track all employers who are recruiting persons with no legal documents. The fact that these immigrants enter the states with the sole hope of gaining better employment, the best way to track them is to audit employment records in all companies. This way, no firm will seek to employ persons who have not being legally authorized to work in the US. This is way all firms will be held accountable of any illegal employee who is working for them. This serves as a respectful strategy towards discouraging illegal entrance into America while on the other side encouraging legal immigration.
It would be unethical to chase away close to eleven million immigrants who are currently residing in the US. Therefore, the best way to deal with them is to encourage them to pursue US citizenship. This is a polite way to entice them to come out of their hide outs without punishing innocent persons. To enhance this process, they are required to take personal initiative to learn English, pass national security and criminal background checks, pay penalties and other relevant requirements.
Foster Legal Immigration
The process of obtaining citizenship for immigrants in the US is comprised of beuractratic processes that are discouraging. This was a proposal to benefit all illegal immigrants who are willing to pursue immigration procedures. This is a move to ensure that entrepreneurs who hold a significant portion in the economy are not disturbed.
Recommendations to Deal With Illegal Immigration
The issue of illegal migration is no longer trivial to be handled through a single means rather a complex approach has to be assumed. This is an approach that entails: Enhance border security. President Obama says that currently the borders are secure enough to curb to effectively deal with illegal immigration. It is however important to note that the technology used to sneak immigrants across the border changes from day to the other. As a result, this rate of advancements needs to be met with similar rate of technological advancements. These include automatic sensors or cameras and aerial vehicles that provide real time patrol and detection. In addition, the role of securing borders should be a shared responsibility to both the US and its neighbors.
Rejection of proposals of Amnesty: Considering the amnesty of 1986 that let free close to three million illegal immigrants in the US, it is noted that amnesty pulls back the efforts to do away with illegal immigration. The Administration ought to enforce strict measures towards amnesty situations. This is to mean that Amnesty should be exercised on conditions that if released, immigrants will be required to return to the countries of their origin.
Programs to address the push-pull effect: Illegal immigration to the US is encouraged by the push-pull effect that exists in Latin America and the United States. The push effect refers to the slow economic growth rates in the neighboring countries a factor that forces its citizens to seek for employment from across borders. On the other side, the pull effect refers to the attraction by the need for labor in the US. This can be dealt with by establishing a temporary work program in the US. This will ensure continuo’s supply of labor to US companies. In an indirect manner, this is a way to foster free market reforms in the US neighboring nations so as to boost their economic opportunities.
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Boost law enforcement measures in America: Since the government of Obama took office, there has been a notable neglect on security measures in the US. For instance; the Social Security No-Match has been abandoned. This was a means to notify employers ‘during recruitment’ the legal status and duties of all relevant candidates. On a similar note, the Obama government has been said to have reduced trial of non criminal immigrants once spotted residing in the US. The fact that these two enforcements have been weakened; it is a clear indication to the outside world that migrating illegally to the US is not a big issue as long as one does not commit criminal acts.
Public diplomacy to prevent illegal immigration: there is a need to study the patterns of immigration in the US. Public diplomacy should act out of survey information so as to avoid launching blind strategies. Immense concern should be directed to states that show enormous numbers in immigration and these include; Central America, Caribbean and Mexico. In fact, US ambassadors to these states ought to make known to those intending to migrate illegally to the US that they will face the full force of law.
Similarities between Immigration Debates Of Both 20th And 21st Century
Since the dawn of the twentieth century, the US government has put efforts towards dealing with illegal immigrants residing in the states. This same debate has continued till the 21st century. Each new government promises to put adequate measures that will ensure the issue of illegal immigration into the US enters the books of history. It can ‘however’ be noted that the issue continues to disturb the economy of the US while at the same time it is boosting the economy. Illegal immigrants have significantly earned the state considerable amounts of money through offering cheap labor in the various US owned firms. This is a factor that has drawn back the efforts of chasing illegal immigrants to go back to their home countries.
While on one side the government is struggling to make situations unfavorable for immigrants, private owned firms on the other side are offering better conditions to these immigrants. Private investors have for a long time now been directed the blame of attracting illegal immigration. This is because they seek cheap unskilled labor from these immigrants. The fact that immigrants belong to nations of low economic status makes it possible for them to accept low wages at the places of work. This is a factor that has curtailed the efforts of seeking illegal immigrants residing in the US.
Racism and Illegal Immigration in the US
The issue of Illegal immigration has not separated itself from the talk of racial discrimination. It is remembered that an article in the Washington Post dated 20th May 2006, showed that a significant percentage of children under five years constituted the Hispanics. This became an issue of concern because Hispanics are partial blacks and hence it seemed blacks are taking over the population of the US. Also, the parliamentary debate to grant legal citizenship to close to twelve million immigrants in the US was met with fierce resistance. To some extent, this resistance was fueled with the move to bar permitting blacks from gaining legal citizenship in the US.
Though it might not sound right to say that immigration debates were filled with racism, it is evident that several moves were controlled by racial factor. For instance; there was a strong move to seal the Mexico-US border and send tighten patrol around this area. It is also noted that at the Canada-US border there were no proposed security improvements. The fact that Mexicans are blacks and Canadians resemble Americans is enough to prove the relationship between tribalism and illegal immigration. Racism has been seen to significantly affect the efforts towards dealing with illegal immigration. Though the above moves may be based on a pure need to deal with illegal immigration, the claim of close relationship between racism and illegal immigration still holds some truth.
It is crucial at this point to note the African American discrimination that has for a long time thrived in the US. Though it is argued that equality has been achieved, there still exists those schools that are purely meant for Americans. As at now, the federal law in Arizona requires all legal immigrants to prove their legal residency whenever they travel to the US. It however proves humanely difficult to declare a person an illegal immigrant if they entered the US on human reasons. These reasons include the search for treatment, education or better paying job. These are considered rightful in the human perspective, however illegal according to the federal law. The New York Times published an anonymous letter on 1st May 2010 that indicated evidence of racial discrimination to illegal immigrants. The author of this letter notes that there exists racial profiling in Arizona when it comes to issues of illegal immigration.
The issue of illegal immigration has being a subject of discussion for quite some time in the United States. Though the state benefits from low wage labor, it cannot ignore the risks associated with illegal migration. Among these risks is the increase in security threats. Political leaders and policy makers have argued out that they can provide effective and fair means to deal with this issue. Though their methods may have worked, there is still a long way to go. The move now is leaning towards implementing the four strategies proposed by President Obama. These are fair moves aimed at reducing the benefits of migrating to the US while increasing the risk of residing in the US illegally. For instance, the use of E-verify to decrease the ease of illegal immigrants from obtaining employment is a fair and polite manner of discouraging illegal immigration.
Even today, the immigration system remains broken because there has not been effective moves to address the issue of illegal immigration. Even the current government that had won the interest of almost everyone in the way it had promised to address the issue of illegal immigration seems not to succeed. This is because it is exercising contradictory measures in dealing with the situation. While the government proposes an audit to identify illegal immigrants in the firms, it also exercises neglect on Social Security No-Match. This way the whole journey towards curbing illegal immigration seems broken. There is no single definite move rather complex moves that seem to be contradictory. Also, the current means being employed to curb illegal immigration are inhuman and cost the state millions of money. For instance; the government has been said to have spent millions of money in detaining illegal immigrants and also, the detainees face inhuman conditions while awaiting trial.
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