The American immigration system is broken and needs some serious help. Since being in office, Obama has fought to gain rights and earned citizenship for the immigrants. He is working hard to achieve immigration reform for the future. His plan requires anyone who’s undocumented to get right with the law by paying their taxes and a penalty, learning English, and undergoing background checks before they can be eligible for citizenship. It requires every business and every workers to play by those rules as well. Throughout our blog we touched on many of the main issues in immigration: border security, pathway to earned citizenship, immigrants in the workplace and the Dream Act. Barack Obama states in a speech given in January 2013, “Together we can build a fair, effective and common sense immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.”
The American borders are strengthening border control more than ever. Law enforcement is given the tools they need to make our communities safer from crime, enhance our infrastructure and technology, and strengthens our ability to remove criminals and give them the consequences they deserve and defend us from threats to our national security. Border patrol should be increased so that people are not sneaking into the country causing crime and participating in illegal actions. Our goal of increasing border control is for the benefit of immigrants who want to enter legally.
Cracking down on employers hiring undocumented immigrants is an issue that makes immigrants illegally be able to find walk and hinders them from achieving citizenship. Businesses that hire immigrants illegally are cheating out businesses that play by the rules. President Obama talks about this issue on January 29, 2013 saying,
“It means cracking down more forcefully on business that knowingly hire undocumented workers..most businesses want to do the right thing… So we need to implement a national system that allows businesses to quickly and accurately verify someone’s employment status. And if they still knowingly hire undocumented workers, then we need to ramp up the penalties.”
Providing a legal pathway for immigrants to earn citizenship will bring the 11 million immigrants living illegally in the country to come out of the shadows and start to live their life. Not only will it benefit themselves but the economy and welfare of this country as well. When immigrants can live legally they start businesses, buy homes, and live actively in their community to boost economies. After passing certain criteria, there will be no uncertainty of their ability to become U.S citizens. Before being able to get in line for citizenship, immigrants have to register, submit biometric data, pass criminal backgrounds and national security checks, and pay fees and penalties before becoming eligible (whitehouse.gov).
The Dream Act was passed so that every immigrant could earn the right to an education in the United States. We believe that without an education ones opportunities come to the end of the road. Millions of the illegal immigrants living in our country are children who are at no fault. Their parents brought them into America for hopes of a better life. The Dream Act can help these children find the “American Dream”. It is an amazing opportunity for these children.
Throughout the semester, we have expressed our argument for immigration reform. Every individual should be able to achieve the best they can. Our overall goal is for immigration to be available to everyone who follows the rules and do it legally. By following a strict and legal immigration reform plan these goals can be achieved. The “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” are natural rights that Americans are given, why not extend that to all individuals who are risking their lives to find those rights?
Immigration Reform. (2013) Whitehouse.gov. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/immigration/earned-citizenship