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IMMIGRATION REFORM


CRC REVIEW


Immigration reform is an issue that constantly makes the top of the list of important priorities, but rarely is effectively taken up by policymakers. The immigration system in the United States needs reform. Issues with illegal immigration, both unlawful crossing of our borders and overstaying visas, are problems creating social inequities and potential security issues in many communities. Comprehensive immigration reform is a common buzzword beloved by many in our political forum. Few have taken steps that actually meet the framework needed to solve the issues. America can compassionately provide direction for those in flux as well as restore law and order by fostering compliance with our immigration laws. 

A nation must have an orderly immigration system that ensures people coming into society are safe and people have fair opportunity. The millions of people that shirk our immigration laws create potential security concerns and pathways for our enemies abroad. In addition, these individuals create inequity in immigration, as legal immigrants have to wait their turn. This includes the population of people who overstay their visas. Our system needs greater compliance. 

An externality of prolonged illegal immigration are the people either brought with at a young age or born shortly after to parents who bear the responsibility of the criminal action. These individuals, known as dreamers, are stuck in a purgatory type state. There is agreement that the portion of these without criminal records and are able to work should have an opportunity for citizenship. Many of these individuals are already contributing to our economy. There should be some program that affords them a path towards citizenship. 

Comprehensive immigration reform is not a new term. Many recent administrations attempted to solve the issue with the closes attempt coming towards the end of the Bush Administration. The idea is the federal government can fix the broken system by restoring law and order at the same time providing path to citizenship for many. Criticism from all sides prevented passage, as some irrationally decry border security and others paint anything less than deportation amnesty. Border security and compassion is needed. 

Immigration is vital to the United States economy as our dynamic economy can pull in the best and brightest from around the world. Preferably, immigrants would follow the rules and utilize the immigration system in place. Again, some feel they do not need to wait in line or feel their situation is to dire to follow the rules. There should not be any benefit afford to people that break the law, regardless if they agree with it or not. The ones who do comply should not be placed at a disadvantage of any kind. 

The Trump Administration taken steps to enhance border security, increasing removal of illegal immigrants caught at the border. Additional measure to implement physical barriers is also underway. Strong measures in coordination with foreign governments has prevented potential mass caravans from reaching our border. But, the dreamers remain in flux. They still are not fully Americans, other than inside their own minds and lifestyles. 

There should be some attempt to address these groups and limit the growth of the impacted population. Some worry potential amnesty will lead to a cattle call of people attempting to enter before the cutoff. To prevent this, legislation should strictly limit the population to those who entered as children within a specific range. Provide this group with criteria to meet in order to earn citizenship, ensuring no criminal records and the ability to earn a living. No person  receiving a pathway to citizenship should be eligible for social welfare programs. 

To reduce illegal immigration beyond the enforcement, federal government should consider guest worker programs. This would allow people to enter for a period of time to exchange labor for compensation needed to provide for the families. The issue would be ensuring people do not overstay their permits. But this would allow industries relying on cheaper labor to retain their work force. Although, the issue of labor rates would need to be addressed. 

Both sides should set aside emotion and see the big picture. The longer the issue lingers, the greater prevalence of radicals pushing open borders or complete deportation. Immigration is important to our society. The government needs to ensure it protects our interests and security in a fair and equitable manner.