This research tackles the problem of the perspective effectiveness of President Obama’s immigration reform. The major goal of the paper is to evaluate diverse viewpoints related to the issue. The strong necessity of reforms has united polarized goals of the competitive parties of the Democrats and the Republicans to protect the broken immigration system. Nevertheless, American society, the nation of law and immigrants, faces dilemma: to introduce the promised reform that would inevitably lead to detrimental consequences or to avoid any transformations and let the U.S. economy decline. Nevertheless, some researchers suggest the third solution. The following pages will regard five of numerous diverse viewpoints, as well as the author’s own beliefs connected to the immigration reform.
Immigration is one of the burning global problems of the current century. Numerous laws enforcing immigration have caused certain civil rights concerns among Americans. President Obama’s promised comprehensive immigration reform has become the culmination of the transformational process in the field of immigration legislation. Promoting the state immigration policy, Americans, the nation of immigrants, are on the edge of splitting up because of extreme complexity of the issue.
John Skrentny and Mican Gell-Redman remind that in 2008, during his presidential campaign, Barack Obama, the Democratic Party candidate, declared his intention to carry out comprehensive immigration reform. In fact, Republican George Bush, Obama’s predecessor, focused on the strong necessity of reforms in immigration legislation, as well. Despite the polarized goals of the competitive parties, both leaders viewed the immigration reform in the similar way, requiring the following steps: first, to enforce control of the frontier between the United States and Mexico; second, the arrangement of immigrants hiring; third, the authorization of approximately eleven million undocumented immigrants within the United States (Skrentny & Gell-Redman, 2011, p.325).
In fact, the United States intends to provide a significant overhaul of its immigration legislation that could make available a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants in the state (ET in the classroom: what US immigration reform bill could mean for Indian IT firms, 2013). The main problem is that “the immigration reform debate over the past few months has led to various interpretations of what constitutes a pathway to citizenship, especially for undocumented immigrants living in the country now” (Hesson, 2013). Receiving the nickname ‘The Gang of Eight’, eight senators, equally representing the Demcratic and the Republican Parties, have been promoting the immigration reform bill (ET in the classroom: what US immigration reform bill could mean for Indian IT firms).
The White House officially recognizes that “America’s immigration system is broken” (Immigration, 2013). The U.S. economy suffers because of overwhelming with 11 million illegal immigrants. The White House makes an emphasis that President Obama’s plan would create a successful immigration system founded on securing U.S. borders and the prohibition of hiring undocumented immigrants. This plan suggests that undocumented immigrants are to pay taxes and a penalty, to learn English, and to undergo background checks before they will become U.S. citizens. President Barack Obama claims that Americans “have to bring this shadow economy into the light so that everybody is held accountable – businesses for who they hire, and immigrants for getting on the right side of the law” (Immigration, 2013).
Jeb Bush,former Florida Governor, states that “undocumented immigrants should not get citizenship at all”. (Hesson, 2013). Instead, he suggests to accept a path to the permanent legal status, that is not similar to the U.S. citizenship. According to current U.S. immigration policy, green card holders have are permited to apply for the U.S. citizenship in five years period. Jeb Bush propose the plan that would “effectively create a second-class of citizenship- someone with the ability to stay in the country permanently but without the full rights of a citizen” (Hesson 2013).
Chicago Tribune, a daily newspaper, informs that U.S. federal spending on the state’s frontier security is extremely great. The number of deportations of illegal immigrants has increased significantly. The immigration bill would cost American tax bearers approximately $6.5 billion. In fact, the United States enjoyed the practice of borders enforcement when Congress had insisted on locking down Mexican frontier. To illustrate, the authorities “built more than 650 miles of fence along the Mexican border, installed 300 radar towers, hired tens of thousands of border agents, deployed 10 drones at a cost of $18 million each” (Editorial: Immigration reform is more than border security, 2013).
In 2012, the U.S. federal spending on frontier enforcement exceeded $17 billion. Chicago Tribune states that this amount is greater than entire spending on such vital services as “the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, ATF and U.S. Marshals Service. All these rash expenses on additional agents, fencing, surveillance equipment, and drones could be avoid in case of lawmakers’ permission for American businessmen to employ the workers they need (Editorial: Immigration reform is more than border security, 2013).
Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, a researcher, supports the immigration reform opposers. The scientist states that “the US government has attempted for more than two decades to put a stop to unauthorized immigration from and through Mexico by implementing ‘enforcement-only’ measures along the US-Mexico border and at work sites across the country. These measures have failed” (Hinojosa-Ojeda, 2012, p.175). Hinojosa-Ojeda claims that the solution of the immigration problem is lagalization undocumented immigrants and creation flexible restrictions on immigration in future. These measures would help both American workers and the U.S. economy” (Hinojosa-Ojeda, 2012, p.175).
John Skrentny, professor of Sociology, Director of Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, and Micah Gell-Redman,a graduate student in Political Science at UCSD, suggest a scientific foundation of their position as for the immigration reform. Taking into account the research works of prominent scientists in the field of Constitution Law, such as William Eskridge, Jr. and John Ferejohn, the optimal way of launching the reform starts with policymakers’ recognition of the problem. Then, a new improved statute is to be passed, discussed and supported by American citizens. The next step is the development of practical and effective introduction of the reform. In fact, “the Constitution says nothing about immigration and give Congress no guidance on how to make immigration statues” (Skrentny & Gell-Redman, 2011, pp.325-326).
Skrentny and Gell-Redman highlight that there are two reasons of extreme importance of statutory immigration regulation from a constitutional perspective. Although the immigration issue has always been major one in America, the U.S. courts improved a constitutional jurisprudence only in 1889. “One false start found the authority for Congress to make immigration law by considering the movement of people across borders to be an aspect of commerce” (Skrentny & Gell-Redman 331). The Supreme court recognized that the legislation taxing immigrants was a constitutional activity of the authorities to regulate commerce.
Nevertheless, this law has not been implemented for a long time. This was the first key aspect of immigration from a constitutional viewpoint. The second one occurred several years later, when the Court significantly rearranged immigration, distinguishing the Chinese Exclusion Case. The authorities regarded immigration as a potential hazard to be protected against, rejecting the viewpoint that considered immigration to be “nonthreatening (or even enriching) movement of entities across borders and thus analogous to commerce” (Skrentny & Gell-Redman, 2011, p.331). Therefore, the Court increased the control over immigration. Since that time, Congress and the executive branch of power have been possessing the right to decide the issues of alien classification and admission control.
Discussing the problem of the best variant of immigration, Skrentny and Gell-Redman claim that it is extremely difficult to find an immigration superstatute determined by Eskridge and Ferejohn. Although, the Hart-Celler Act of 1965 may be considered the exception to the rule. This legislative act banned all detrimental discrimination founded on the national origin of aliens and set, as for other states, high rates of immigration, focusing on family reunification as the key point of visa policy (Skrentny & Gell-Redman, 2011, p.331). On the one hand,Skrentny and Gell-Redman state that President Obama’s comprehensive immigration reform corresponds to U.S. current immigration statue. The major issues of the reform include the enforcement of frontiers, the growth of workplace regulation, and authorization of millions of illegal immigrants in the state. On the other hand, the researchers emphasize that the above-mentioned components are similar to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, known as IRCA. In fact, these innovations were not success (Skrentny & Gell-Redman, 2011, p.332).
Examining the diverse viewpoints on such a controversial issue as immigration reform, I support the position of wise and cautious steps in launching the Obama’s promised reform. On the one side, all Americans are extremely interested in a smart, effective economy that has been broken because of uncontrolled stream of illegal immigrants who do not pay taxes and who are not often law-abiding people. I recognize the fact that there are numerous crimes in illegal immigrants’ districts. Nevertheless, one must agree that Americans are the nation of laws and the nation of immigrants, and severe restrictions are not the panacea. In fact, despite the U.S.- Mexico borders enforcement and inevitable deportations, there were numerous illegal crossings that sometimes had lethal outcome for immigrants being transported under dangerous circumstances. One should take into account, that thoughtless launching of the immigration reform would break families illegal immigrants have made in the USA. Therefore, the immigration reform is necessary, but it should be introduced after making wise amendments.
The strong necessity of reforms has united polarized goals of the competitive parties of the Democrats and the Republicans to protect the broken immigration system. Immigration reform advocates claim that the U.S. economy suffers because of overwhelming with 11 million illegal immigrants and requires urgent changes, such as the enforcement control of the frontier between the United States and Mexico, the arrangement of immigrants hiring, and the authorization of approximately eleven million undocumented immigrants within the United States. There is a point of view to create a second-class of citizenship- someone with the ability to stay in the country permanently but without the full rights of a citizen.
Reform opposers highlight that all federal multibillion rash expenses on additional agents, fencing, surveillance equipment, and drones could be avoid in case of lawmakers’ permission for American businessmen to employ the workers they need. Scientists suggest compromising approach to the issue. Although, all these positions are valuable in their own way, the American nation needs to realize that race should not influence the citizenship or civil rights of people. One should admit that American people are considered to be a glorious example of a melting pot, including representatives of diverse cultures and nationalities. Despite of color of skin and place of birth, American nation is united by the unique idea- Freedom that is the cornerstone of the U.S. key ideals.