What are President Obama’s plans for immigration reform? Will this immigration reform positively OR negatively affect the U.S. economy? How?
February 11, 2013
Currently, 11 million illegal immigrants inhabit the United States. This number will continue to augment without proper regulation of these aliens. Ever since his first inauguration, it has been President Barack Obama’s mission to improve America’s mediocre immigration system. Since Obama’s reelection for his second term, he has constantly stressed the fact that the new ideas for immigration reform are on the top of his list. Not only will these new reclaims help both the legal and illegal immigrants, and American citizens, but also they will benefit the US economy. It has been a controversial argument whether Obama’s reform ideas will either positively or negatively affect the US economy, but according to the bipartisan group of democrats and republicans, it is agreed that the positives greatly outweigh the negatives. After the bipartisan meeting on January 28th, 2013, in which both parties’ principles were announced for comprehensive immigration reform (CNN Political Unit, CNN.com), Obama presented a speech on January 29th, 2013, which consisted of numerous solutions to the troubled immigration system presently used in the United States. This speech not only contained these ideas, but also his plan of action to pursue them during his next four years in office. Obama proved to America that he would attempt to fulfill these reforms as soon as possible by saying, “It is time to fix the system that has been broken for way too long,” (CNN Political Unit, CNN.com). The first, and arguably the most imperative, immigrant reform plan is to strengthen the US-Mexico border’s security, strictly correlating with illegal immigrant crossings. Since Obama has been in office, the number of illegal crossings has shrunk down to about 80% from their peak in 2000 (CNN Political Unit, CNN.com). Some specific methods that are considered being used to strengthen the US-Mexico border are: increase protection and number of border patrol agents, add 350 miles of fencing, add 290 miles of vehicle barriers, invest in more cameras and radar towers, and finally, end the “Catch & Release” Policy (USA Immigration Reform, USAimmigrationreform.org). Secondly, Obama desires to increase the enforcement efforts on illegal immigrant criminals who endanger the country’s communities. Thankfully, with Obama in office, the deportation of undocumented criminals is at its highest level than it has ever been before (CNN Political Unit, CNN.com). The third angle for this project is to reinforce the already-formed DREAM Act, which stands for “Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors.” The main purpose of this addition to the bill of reforms is so the minors that travelled with their parents or guardians over the border (in this case, they are not responsible for being an illegal alien) are ensured opportunity, safety, and equal rights (Zuckerman-Bernstein, policymic.com). Providing conditional permanent residency to certain illegal minors of good moral character who graduate from high schools in the United States is the platform of this act (CNN Political Unit, CNN.com). The fourth contribution in Obama’s speech discussed worksite enforcement. It is strongly suggested that we implement a new national system that enables businesses to rapidly and accurately verify one’s employment status, and even more emphasized, heighten and ramp up the penalties deserved by the businesses that still hire illegally (CNN Political Unit, CNN.com). Actions to be accounted for in this effort are: moderating the number of documents accepted to verify identity and work eligibility, ensuring that all workers must hold legal status in the United States, increasing the fines and consequences for those continually hiring illegal workers, and lastly, to surge investigation of these employers...
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