Immigration Reform in United States

The United States will forever and always be a nation of immigrants. Without the contributions of multiple generations of immigrants from every corner of the globe, the United States may not be the successful and strong economic powerhouse it is today. Compared to the rest of the world, the United States has the highest population numbers of legal and illegal immigrants. The united states is a place where anyone is welcome as long as they enter, live and work in the country legally.

Unfortunately, millions of immigrants disobey this law. Currently, eleven million undocumented immigrants are estimated to be in the United States. While immigration reform is in the works, the country is left divided on a proper solution. The quickest and most efficient solution is to secure the southern borders, help DACA recipients, and find a pathway to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States Of America

Whether immigration is a threat or a blessing in disguise the American people are still affected by it.

In the United States, illegal immigration is an extremely controversial issue and here’s why. “Many people blame illegal immigration for social problems including crime, unemployment, and low wages. Some believe that any immigrant who arrived illegally is a lawbreaker and more likely to commit other crimes and link illegal immigration to the illegal drug trade. They also argue that illegal immigration is a drain on public resources, significant social welfare costs, and results from job losses for Americans. On the other hand, Others argue that most immigrants, including those who have arrived illegally, are hardworking individuals who pay more in taxes than they use in services.

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One proposed solution has been to create a way for such immigrants to become legal. However, these ideas have been criticized as amnesty for lawbreakers. Some people argue that immigrants take hard and dangerous jobs that Americans will not do. These people believe the labor and entrepreneurship of illegal immigrants help American industries and creates additional jobs” (Undocumented Immigrants). As a whole, the nation agrees that the problem of illegal immigration needs to be solved but the nation is divided on how to go about it. The best way to resolve this issue is to secure the border to prevent more illegal immigration while assisting DACA recipients and other illegal immigrants in the findings of a clear pathway to citizenship.

The September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States was the country’s turning point to national security. This traumatizes attack made the country stop in its tracks. Filling eyes with tears and minds of remorse. After this event, national security was the main priority. The United States secured the airlines but not its borders, leaving wiggle room for illegal immigration. “A secure border between the U.S. and Mexico would be an engine for economic growth, facilitating the legitimate exchange of people, goods, and services. Moreover, it would serve as an obstacle to transnational crime and human trafficking, and facilitate the accurate and rapid targeting of national security threats. All of the measures that could help to build this kind of border can be achieved under existing law, faithfully fulfilling existing mandates for border security and the regular order of congressional appropriations. In addition, a meaningful border security strategy would address investing in the infrastructure that facilitates legitimate trade and travel. Points of entry and exit must have the physical assets to support screening, inspection, and gathering, evaluating, and sharing of critical information” (The US-Mexican Border Needs Increased Security). Strengthening security at the borders and infrastructure that facilitates trade and travel will aid in the prevention of threats, illegal immigration, and crimes in the United States.

Another action that can be taken to resolve the immigration issue is by aiding DACA and its recipients. “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a kind of administrative relief from deportation. The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA gives young undocumented immigrants protection from deportation and a work permit. The program expires after two years, subject to renewal” (What is DACA?). DACA recipients are the offspring of illegal immigrants who identify and live like Americans. Many of them have lived in the United States for the majority of their lives and have no real correlation with their birth country. Unfortunately, these young people were without a clear pathway to citizenship under the current immigration law. “DACA has enabled individuals in communities across the country to come out of the shadows, get drivers licenses, obtain access to higher education and necessary skill sets, and find work. With this opportunity, DACA recipients have demonstrated that they are American in every way, despite being undocumented” (Heinrich, 2019). DACA is a win-win situation for everyone. This benefits the young immigrants, society and even the economy. However, President Trump decided to end this program. “The economic impact of rescinding DACA will negatively affect individuals beyond recipients and their families, including employers who have hired DACA recipients, as well as communities where DACA recipients are active economic and social participants. The repeal of DACA will place an extreme hardship and burden on U.S. businesses, on local communities, and the American economy. According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, rescinding DACA would result in an estimated loss of $460.3 billion from the national GDP over the next decade. Ending DACA would also remove an estimated 685,000 workers from the nation’s economy over the next two years—at a rate of more than 30,000 jobs a month—leaving employers in a lurch to fill these positions. Further, replacing these individuals is expected to cost employers more than $3.4 billion in unnecessary turnover costs. President Trump’s decision to end DACA is an effort to please his conservative, anti-immigrant base. Scoring political points instead of providing policy solutions will only produce negative economic consequences for Americans across the country. Congress must find a solution that will protect Dreamers and the American economy from this damaging, inhumane action by President Trump” (Heinrich, 2019). Helping DACA will only cause good outcomes. Removing this program is a mistake that will not only worsen the immigration problem but the economy as well.

Pathway to Citizenship

On the other hand, several Americans do not want to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants and refute the process of a clear pathway to citizenship. One reason being, it is too expensive and takes away hard-earned money from the taxpayers. “A new study from the conservative Heritage Foundation estimates that granting a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants will cost US taxpayers at least $6.3 trillion. But the study also drew swift criticism from Republicans supporting the reform effort, who called the Heritage Foundation’s estimate politicized, exaggerated and flawed in its methodology. The $6.3 trillion calculation derives from the federal benefits Rector and co-author Jason Richwine believe an estimated 11 million newly legalized immigrants will receive over their lifetimes versus the taxes they will pay. A summary of the report, for example, states that former unlawful immigrants together would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits and services and pay $3.1 trillion in taxes, for a lifetime ‘fiscal deficit’—at a minimum—of $6.3 trillion (total benefits minus total taxes.) Those benefits, the study states, will eventually include means-tested welfare benefits and health care as well as Social Security payments. The report’s authors acknowledge that their estimated price tag concentrates only on the citizenship piece of proposed immigration reform legislation rather than estimating the costs of the massive bill as a whole” (Dann, Carrie). Although a pathway to citizenship may be expensive it will help resolve the immigration problem. Fewer people would be deported and separated from their families. More immigrants would be documented and convicted of crimes if they disobey the laws in the future. Eventually, these problems need to be solved. Why not start as soon as possible to eventually earn the lost money back? According to the opposers, a pathway to citizenship hurts pockets. But it will not hurt the country or families in the long run. A pathway to citizenship could solve the illegal immigration crisis.

To resolve the Illegal immigration issue, the United States needs to focus more attention on strengthening security at the borders and infrastructure that facilitates trade and travel to aid in the prevention of threats, illegal immigration, and crimes in the United States. As well as the recovering the DACA program to help the younger generation of immigrants, society and the economy.The government needs to search for a clear pathway of citizenship to all immigrants. By doing so the immigration crisis will be greatly reduced. It will take compromise, actions, time and money but in the end it will be worth the hassle. Hopefully then Americans and immigrants can live in harmony together in one nation.

Works Cited

  1. Dann, Carrie. ‘A Path to Citizenship for Illegal Immigrants Would Cost US Taxpayers Trillions.’ Immigration, edited by Debra A. Miller, Greenhaven Press, 2014. Current Controversies. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/EJ3010362287/OVIC?u=nysl_ce_herkimer&sid=OVIC&xid=e1cedbed. Accessed 20 Oct. 2019. Originally published as ‘Conservative Group Pegs Cost of ‘Path to Citizenship’ at $6.3T,’ NBCnews.com, 2013.
  2. Heinrich, M. (2019). Ending DACA Means Widespread Economic Harm. [online] Jec.senate.gov. Available at: https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/71c540ce-7953-455b-b9ea-5cdfb5e82dd7/daca-blog-post.pdf [Accessed 20 Oct. 2019].
  3. ‘The US-Mexican Border Needs Increased Security.’ Illegal Immigration, edited by Noël Merino, Greenhaven Press, 2015. Opposing Viewpoints. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/EJ3010226404/OVIC?u=nysl_ce_herkimer&sid=OVIC&xid=982f1930. Accessed 20 Oct. 2019. Originally published as ‘Advancing the Immigration Nation: Heritage’s Positive Path to Immigration and Border Security Reform: The Heritage Foundation Immigration and Border Security Reform Task Force,’ Backgrounder, 17 June 2013.
  4. ‘Undocumented Immigrants.’ Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2019. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/QSZYXZ257535332/OVIC?u=nysl_ce_herkimer&sid=OVIC&xid=0501e1ea. Accessed 20 Oct. 2019.
  5. What is DACA? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://undocu.berkeley.edu/legal-support-overview/what-is-daca/.

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Immigration Reform in United States. (2021, Apr 08). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/immigration-reform-in-united-states-essay

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