Comprehensive Immigration Reform Will Benefit American Workers

Immigration Rally

Immigration supporters gather during a rally for citizenship on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 10, 2013.

 

“To fully understand why American workers are harmed, one must first consider the role of immigration enforcement in the workplace and how it affects the employment rights of immigrant workers.” This Center for American Progress article evaluates the effects of the immigration reform on the workplace in the nation.

Day Laborers Rally for Immigration Reform, Workplace Safety


Video portion starting at approximately 12:25 minutes

The online complementary text from the Democracy Now website is below:
In New York City, day laborers and their allies gathered Sunday to call for immigration reform and to highlight the role of immigrant workers in the recovery effort after Superstorm Sandy, just over one year ago. The workers rallied in Foley Square to call for relief from deportation for workers who helped rebuild the city. The protest came on the heels of a New York Daily News report showing 74 percent of construction workers who die on the job are Latinos, even though census figures show Latinos account for just 41 percent of such workers. Pablo Alvarado of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network said safety for relief workers is a key demand.

Pablo Alvarado: “After a natural disaster, workers need to be protected. FEMA comes in, and they bring relief to homeowners, to a lot of people who are affected. But workers’ rights, people who go in, the first responders, people who go in and take out the contaminated waters, they don’t even receive a glove or a helmet. That needs to change.” 

What Will Immigration Reform Do to America’s Worst Workplaces?

Bloomberg Business week article is about what the immigration reform and its changes will do to the nation’s worst workplaces. “The Senate’s immigration bill adds protections for undocumented workers in two ways, and these have the potential to change how factories, warehouses, and restaurants that rely on illegal labor do business.”

Undocumented workers out in American fields.

In the mean time: Increase Border Security

Border Security  Photo Credit: newsjunkiespost.com

Border Security
Photo Credit: newsjunkiespost.com

The Department of Homeland Security concisely sums up why we support increased and stricter border control (also referred to as border security) when it said, “Protecting our borders from the illegal movement of weapons, drugs, contraband, and people, while promoting lawful entry and exit, is essential to homeland security, economic prosperity, and national sovereignty” (Homeland Security). In regards to immigration reform, we focus on the people aspect of the statement, as we think immigrants should not be able to just hop a fence for work in the country, but need to go through the proper and legal path of citizenship beforehand. The purpose of the border is to create and safe and fair environment for the US citizens and to keep out those who do not hold that privilege.

border_security_chart3.jpg

Border Patrol Agents Increase
Photo credit: http://www.dhs.gov

The nearly 700 miles of fence separating Mexico from the United States may stop vehicles full of illegal immigrants to cross, but minimally affects walkers’ access into the states. That said, the current count of more than 21,000 protection officers guarding the border by; land, sea and air is just not enough (Creating and Immigration System of the 21st Century).

Limiting the illegal access by transportation means (crossing the fence) should be the government’s first problem to attack. We acknowledge that total security is impossible and that just putting up more and more fences will not completely solve the problem. We simply think that while Congress argues back and forth to pass immigration laws, the country can keep the borders strong and illegal immigrants out. Even though the task asks for large sums of government funds, in the long run the payments will even out. This is because less non- US citizens will take away wages from tax paying citizens. The government does not help the situation by deporting travelers in the US on expired visas or incomplete/fake paperwork when they can leave and come right back because of the weak border patrol.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Removals under Obama and Bush Administration Photo Credit: http://www.ice.gov/doclib/about/offices/ero/pdf/ero-removals1.pdf

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Removals under Obama and Bush Administration
Photo Credit: http://www.ice.gov/doclib/about/offices/ero/pdf/ero-removals1.pdf 

We are aligned with the Obama administration’s actions and stances taken on border security. We firmly think that it is near impossible to tackle the problems revolving immigration and make progress with the immigration reform without addressing the terms of border security. “We stengthened security at the borders so that we could finally stem the tide of illegal immigrants, President Barack Obama said on January 29, 2013. “We put more boots on the ground on the southern border than at any time in our history. And today, illegal crossings are down nearly 80 percent from their peak in 2000.” The increase in border security is a step in the right direction of immigration reform. Immigrants should only be allowed to enter the United States by obtaining citizenship and not by squeezing through the bordering fence.

References
Alden, E. (2012). Immigration and Border Control. Cato Journal, 32(1), 107-124. Retrieved November 9, 2013, from http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/2012/1/cj32n1-8.pdf

Creating an Immigration System for the 21st Century. (n.d.). Continuing to Strengthen Border Security. Retrieved November 9, 2013, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/immigration/border-security

Garcia, A., Fitz, M., & Kelly, A. (n.d.). The “Border Security First” Argument: A Red Herring Undermining Real Security. Center for American Progress. Retrieved November 9, 2013, from http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/report/2011/03/29/9327/the-border-security-first-argument-a-red-herring-undermining-real-security/

Homeland Security. (n.d.). Border Security Overview. Retrieved November 9, 2013, from http://www.dhs.gov/border-security-overview