Currently, 11 million illegal immigrants inhabit the United States. This number will continue to augment without proper regulation of these aliens. Ever since his first inauguration, it has been President Barack Obama’s mission to improve America’s mediocre immigration system. Since Obama’s reelection for his second term, he has constantly stressed the fact that the new ideas for immigration reform are on the top of his list. Not only will these new reclaims help both the legal and illegal immigrants, and American citizens, but also they will benefit the US economy.
It has been a controversial argument whether Obama’s reform ideas will either positively or negatively affect the US economy, but according to the bipartisan group of democrats and republicans, it is agreed that the positives greatly outweigh the negatives. After the bipartisan meeting on January 28th, 2013, in which both parties’ principles were announced for comprehensive immigration reform (CNN Political Unit, CNN. com), Obama presented a speech on January 29th, 2013, which consisted of numerous solutions to the troubled immigration system presently used in the United States.
This speech not only contained these ideas, but also his plan of action to pursue them during his next four years in office. Obama proved to America that he would attempt to fulfill these reforms as soon as possible by saying, “It is time to fix the system that has been broken for way too long,” (CNN Political Unit, CNN. com). The first, and arguably the most imperative, immigrant reform plan is to strengthen the US-Mexico border’s security, strictly correlating with illegal immigrant crossings.
Since Obama has been in office, the number of illegal crossings has shrunk down to about 80% from their peak in 2000 (CNN Political Unit, CNN. com). Some specific methods that are considered being used to strengthen the US-Mexico border are: increase protection and number of border patrol agents, add 350 miles of fencing, add 290 miles of vehicle barriers, invest in more cameras and radar towers, and finally, end the “Catch & Release” Policy (USA Immigration Reform, USAimmigrationreform. org). Secondly, Obama desires to increase the enforcement efforts on illegal immigrant criminals who endanger the country’s communities.
Thankfully, with Obama in office, the deportation of undocumented criminals is at its highest level than it has ever been before (CNN Political Unit, CNN. com). The third angle for this project is to reinforce the already-formed DREAM Act, which stands for “Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors. ” The main purpose of this addition to the bill of reforms is so the minors that travelled with their parents or guardians over the border (in this case, they are not responsible for being an illegal alien) are ensured opportunity, safety, and equal rights (Zuckerman-Bernstein, policymic. om). Providing conditional permanent residency to certain illegal minors of good moral character who graduate from high schools in the United States is the platform of this act (CNN Political Unit, CNN. com).
The fourth contribution in Obama’s speech discussed worksite enforcement. It is strongly suggested that we implement a new national system that enables businesses to rapidly and accurately verify one’s employment status, and even more emphasized, heighten and ramp up the penalties deserved by the businesses that still hire illegally (CNN Political Unit, CNN. om). Actions to be accounted for in this effort are: moderating the number of documents accepted to verify identity and work eligibility, ensuring that all workers must hold legal status in the United States, increasing the fines and consequences for those continually hiring illegal workers, and lastly, to surge investigation of these employers (USA Immigration Reform, USAimmigrationreform. org). This topic is a bit more accentuated because the employment of illegal workers generates an unbalanced and unfair workplace for American citizens.
The companies that hire illegally create a battlefield for companies that do proceed to follow the law and pay decent wages, causing those of which to suffer. Not only are these loyal companies and businesses affected, but also is a majority of general working Americans. Their wages and working conditions are threatened, but Obama demands to protect each worker’s rights and clarifies this motion by stating,” We will make sure that every worker and business in America is playing the same set of rules,” (CNN Political Unit, CNN. com).
The fifth input could hold the most considerable amount of influence on illegal immigrants currently living in America, and for those who wish to come to America legally but unfortunately have a hard time doing so. Obama’s idea of laying out a pathway to citizenship has caught the eyes and ears of many. This pathway consists of various forms of tests and agreements that attain to both present illegal immigrants and legal ones wishing to move, such as: a background check, paying taxes, learning English, paying a penalty upon illegal entry and getting in back of the line behind the people who have waited to arrive legally (illegals only).
Obama claims this is only fair (CNN Political Unit, CNN. com). There will be a revised naturalization test, with a focus on American democracy, US history, and what is expected of a US citizen. Also, a rise of immigrant coach training will help applicants through the immigration process. Finally, it’s planned to enhance the development of web-based learning tools to increase English language skills (USA Immigration Reform, USAimmigrationreform. org).
Congress stresses that this pathway to citizenship is mainly focused on the 11 million undocumented aliens in America, but it is equally vital to deal with future immigrants, as well, or the country may find itself housing more illegals and not progressing to a better America (Fox News, The Associated Press, foxnews. com). Lastly, Obama’s final aspiration is to break our old fashioned system and bring it to the 21st century. The president’s opinion about visa card laws was that they are “outdated” and “make no sense,” (Fox News, The Associated Press, foxnews. com).
He hopes to join family members with those who have come to earn a living already and to avoid the prolonged wait of future immigrants. Having to wait years before being able to send one’s family to America is absurd to the President and surely to a majority of others (CNN Political Unit, CNN. com). These plans, ideas, and desires for a higher quality national immigration system will be assorted into a bill. Witnesses largely appealed to congress’ disposition to pass the bill because not only will this bill ameliorate the lives of immigrants and their families, but also the US economy (Fox News, The Associated Press, foxnews. om).
Correspondingly, there is a plethora of reasons why a substantial immigration reform would positively impact the US economy. To begin, immigrants start businesses. The Small Business Administration says immigrants are 30% more likely to start a business compared to a native, and 18% of small business owners today are immigrants (Gray, Furman, thewhitehouse. gov). In addition, this reform would create an annual increase of 0. 8% points to the economic growth rate, presently stuck at a frustrating 2% (CBN News, CBN. com).
Additional boosts to the economic growth could potentially come from rising wages for newly legalized workers and higher productivity levels from the arrival of new, highly-skilled workers from abroad (Krudy, NBCnews. com). To even further express the benefit of immigration reform, just in 2008, the Congressional Budget Office projected an acquired $48 billion in revenue from 2008-2017, simply caused by a more efficient, modernized national immigration system (Krudy, NBCnews. com). Continuing on from the point above, immigrant-owned businesses create jobs for Americans.
The Fiscal Policy Institute stated that small businesses owned by immigrants employed about 4. 7 million people in 2007. These businesses generated over $776 billion annually. With this statistic, it only makes sense to assume that this ratio will continually grow in the future since more businesses will be started. Also, the Center of American Progress affirmed that comprehensive immigration reform would create jobs — 900,000 people got jobs within 3 years from the increase of immigrant consumer spending (Gray, Furman, thewhitehouse. ov). Yes, immigrants will aid the US in creating jobs for its native citizens, but it is also true that immigrants are more likely to create their own jobs as well. The Department of Labor claimed that 7. 5% of foreign born people in the United States are self-employed, while only 6. 6% of native born are self-employed (Gray, Furman, thewhitehouse. gov). Immigrants are also a great contributor to the economy because they have and probably will continue to create cutting-edge technology and companies.
Big businesses like Google, Yahoo, Intel and eBay were all produced with the help of immigrants, and 25% of public US companies were started by them (Gray, Furman, thewhitehouse. gov). Alone, these booming businesses create an influx of earnings for the American economy. The earnings developed from these businesses wouldn’t reach their full potential without the help of immigrants. Between 1990 and 2004, an accession of immigration correlated with increased earnings of about 0. 7% annually, recorded from studies at University of California (Gray, Furman, thewhitehouse. ov).
Oddly enough, it is proven that immigrants earn greater degrees than non-immigrants. Surprisingly, with all of America’s exceptional education programs, only 16% of the resident population holds a bachelor’s degree. Immigrants represent 33% of America’s engineers, 27% of mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists, and 34% of physical scientists (Gray, Furman, thewhitehouse. gov). Another reason to implement this bill immediately is because reform legislation would reduce the deficit.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that if the 2010 version of the DREAM Act was used, the federal deficit would be abated $2. 2 trillion over a course of 10 years because of accumulated tax revenues (Gray, Furman, thewhitehouse. gov). The consensus among economists said the new reform would maximize housing demand, encourage entrepreneurship, and raise tax revenues, which in total would sufficiently aid the budget deficit (CBN News, CBNnews. com). So basically, the consensus among economists has determined immigration reform as a net benefit.
Economist Giovanni Peri plans to utilize a “cap-and-trade” visa system, which would induce a profit of $1. 2 billion a year (Krudy, NBCnews. com). Finally, immigration reform would increase America’s gross domestic product. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office asserted that even under low investment assumptions, immigration reform would raise the GDP by 0. 8%-1. 3% from 2012-2016 (Gray, Furman, thewhitehouse. gov). As one can see, President Barack Obama has put forth a much needed effort in the mission to create a noteworthy national immigration system.
With all of these fair and effective plans and ideas, not one foreigner should have to think twice about becoming an American citizen, considering it is for the benefit of themselves, their family, the United States and its economy. The National Council of La Raza, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the International Secretary of the Service Employees International Union, all of these tied in with immigration policies, issued a joint statement saying “The time to act is now,” (Zuckerman-Bernstein, policymic. com).