The immigration system of the United States of America is in dire need of reform. For quite some time, issues with illegal immigration, including both illegal passage into our borders and the overstaying of visas, created social problems policymakers struggle to address. Additionally, diverging ideological viewpoints divide our national debate between two distinct outcomes. The ideal solution to our immigration problems is a comprehensive approach that provides equitable outcomes to law abiding migrants and opportunities for violators to atone for past digressions.
A buzzword commonly thrown around during the presidency of Barack Obama was comprehensive immigration reform. Under such an idea, the federal government would provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and other undocumented people. In addition, government would also address border security. Although a good beginning, the problem with the approach was the immediacy of the amnesty with complete ambiguity of actual measures to prevent the issue from reoccurring.
Setting aside the strong emotions on the issue, America needs an orderly and fair immigration system. Also, there are many among the impacted population demonstrating the ability to contribute to our society and would be willing to forgo access to welfare programs to attain an opportunity to be recognized as Americans. Moreover, there is a need to ensure immigrants go through the process and play by the rules. Beyond the impact on our national security, allowing deviations provides unfair outcomes for certain classes of immigrants.
Providing a pathway to citizenship is commonly described as setting a prescribed penalty to atone for the crime of illegal entry. Once the penalty is honored, the person would be able to enter the immigration system at the back of the line of people who went through the proper channel. While many conservatives feel this form of amnesty promotes mass illegal immigration, the federal government can alleviate those concerns by limiting the eligible population to those already entered by a certain period, which might be difficult to enforce.
Immigration hawks want strong border security measures that protect against illegal border crossing, which is appropriate given the large population of people that fall into this category. But, enforcement should also consider other forms of illegal immigration, not solely border crossing. In our current environment, our national security is depending on being able to ensure dangerous elements are not able to freely enter our society. Some on the left argue the minimal number of threats, but the reality is that it only takes one to makes a massive impact.
A big part of the issue is the emotional impact of issue is hardening both sides to their viewpoints, without wiggle room to negotiate and compromise. As stated earlier, not all illegal immigrants and undocumented people are dangerous or bad. Some are and those ones need to be immediately removed from society. But, ones that can meet the terms of the onetime olive branch and contribute to our society should get an opportunity to remain as Americans.
The United States economy needs immigration to support our economy. Despite the large pools of domestic talents, immigration allows the American economy to pull in the best and brightest from the rest of the world. A competitive advantage the United States has over our industrial counterparts is the free market and private ownership that attracts the worlds best to leave their homeland and migrate here. As a result, the United States benefits from a diverse, dynamic, and innovative pool of talent the world cannot compete with.
At the same time, the United States needs to have an orderly and fair process that vets immigrants and eliminates unfair obstacles for certain classes of immigrants. Many of the immigration policies have gone overlooked for decades. Giving fresh look on the length of residency and eligibility terms is appropriate. Should a person that already have family in the United States have preference over another that may be better able to contribute to our economy? That is a question we need to ask.
There are some on the left of center that want to push for complete open borders, regressing to the outdated past. In reality, regulated borders are essential for the protection of law and order and national security. The United States can solve our immigration issues. But, it will take bold policymakers to better make the case for a comprehensive approach in a manner that gives equal urgency for all key factors. Protect our borders. Protect immigrants. Protect our ability to attract the best and brightest.