The idea of legal immigration is an idea I wholeheartedly support; however, it is often important to analyze the idea of legal immigration. What does a foreigner have to experience to become a legal citizen? What are some of the specific requirements for citizenship? I found myself asking these questions over and over again, as to what benefits can these foreign people make as they come to America, and what is the cost of immigration reform. In a changing landscape of immigration in the United States; I heard the idea of not granting wishes of all foreigners and supporting the problems of the world. But is this the issue that reformers are truly confronting and why?
The idea of migration has changed over the years, but how have views changed in the modern climate. To understand the heart of these issues we must first understand the context of the conversation and its divisive nature. In the article “The Immigration Act That Inadvertently Changed America”, by Tom Gjelten discusses the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, which would change the American landscape in an unexpected pattern (Gjelten). Seemingly settling the lingering questions about what the requirements for citizenship are the 1965 act has created many stipulations, the biggest of which was the bill giving permanent residency preference to those who were directly related to permanent residents, these being children, siblings, and married citizens (“Immigration”). These ideas have supported chain migrations of many families bringing them closer and closer together in in its own right should be celebrated (Gjelten); however, the stipulations for low skill immigrants who wish to follow the rules and make a better life for there families are restricted to 10,000 (“Immigration”). This number seems unequivocally low and does not truly reflect the number of people under current employment in the United States. Considering that “27.2 million immigrant workers comprised 16.9 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2015 (“Immigrants” p.2).” Numbers like these must not exist and private enterprise must have greater reign to allow for immigrant workers in America to work for them under strict federal stipulations to ensure adequate work environments and lawful pay and treatment.
Immigration has become a decisive and divided topic in America’s political landscape. Derek Thompson notes in his article “How Immigration Became So Controversial”, “…it doesn’t seem quite right to say the issue of immigration divides America. It more clearly divides Republicans—both from the rest of the country, and from one another.” Thompson recognizes two points, republican ideas toward cheap labor versus immigration crackdown, “ICE versus Inc.” In the argument he mentions the “… funded initiatives to attract Latino votes by helping undocumented workers with tax preparation, driver’s tests, and doctor’s visits…” (Thompson). He recognizes plans for conservative parties to both expand the general GOP to immigrants and to a modern movement to have undocumented immigrants begin to assist the growing population with social needs by documenting and taxing undocumented aliens (Thompson).
Changes in the public opinion are marking for an increasingly immigrant friendly American population and a divided Republican party. Moreover, Dan Balz and Emily Guskin remark that the republicans have divided in their article “Trump Foreign Policy Pronouncements Split the Republican Party”. Highlight a positive change of heart toward immigration, stating,“65 percent of Americans say undocumented immigrants should be provided a path to citizenship, with or without conditions. That compares with 58 percent a year ago and 50 percent in 2013.” This change in popular opinion marks the heart of the division in the Republican party, as the GOP begins to split in immigration beliefs, from the pro-Trump Republicans, to the more anti-Trump Republicans. Upon greater analysis of these answers it is revealed that 62 percent of anti-Trump republicans believe that these undocumented residents should be able to apply for citizenship and more than 40 percent of pro-Trump Republicans believe in deportation (Balz and Gouskin). Demonstrating a divide among the GOP split on the proposed policies of the President.
These arrangements fuel concern for low skilled workers of less means, with concern for wage droppings as immigrants request lower wages than the native populous causing wages for Americans to sink to all time low depths (Thompson). The idea of this is scary, as a low income resident people may picture suddenly receiving a low wage job in the future while trying to survive as the threat of an unlimited amount of immigrants come to America, but how accurate is this fear. According to the “Meta-Analysis of Empirical Evidence on the Labour Market Impacts of Immigration”, by Simonetta Longhi, Peter Nijkamp, and Jacques Poot this fear may be overstated and completely false. The authors state defend this belief by stating, “When migrants are about one tenth of the population this translates into a very small elasticity of a 0.01 percent decline in the average wage for a 1 percent increase in the number of immigrants.” , while noting that if immigration increases by one percent unemployment would increase only about 0.02 percent. (Longhi, et.al. 1) Another great concern among low wage Americans that Thompson notes is the concern that the income of low wage American immigrants will have to rely heavily on social services that first generation immigrants cannot pay off in taxes. Thompson admits this is the case; however, he adds that these immigrants become net contributors as family members take up jobs and begin to pay more in taxes (Thompson). The lack of funding in taxes must at first be carried over by the taxes of others in order to ensure funding; however, we must also provide an accelerated citizenship program for the foreigners and allow them to sponsor family members into the United States. This will allow for in increased tax base and greater revenue.
Among the arguments and possibilities for the movement toward immigration policy especially in the conservative sides of the argument are often overstated and do not present the issues that must be confronted. I contend the ability to recruit unskilled workers and undesired skilled work should not be restricted by a number. Undocumented immigrants must be implemented into the tax system as residents. It should be in accordance to the needs of any given company, to ensure the survival of necessary jobs that American citizens don’t apply for. The responsibility must be placed on the employer to pay the workers the locally regulated minimum wage, or higher, requiring the employer to adhere to regulated OSHA standards and federal law, to prevent mistreatment and underpaying of workers based on the inability to act. The United States borders must be enforced and private companies must be allowed to hire any and all required workers, state auditors must inspect the company for fraudulent activity and general safety. Then they must apply for government supported transfer of foreign citizens. Employers may create requirements for workers, that are not discriminatory in nature, but relate to the work for which they are hiring. Employers are responsible for holding hiring events under federal supervision to prevent foreigner mistreatment and violence, while giving future employees work visa papers.
The United States government must loosen its ban on immigration in under the Immigration and Nationality Act providing a clear path to help businesses to legally recruit more immigrant workers. These workers must receive the same profit protection and general concern as American citizens are afforded. These new residents must finally be allowed to apply for full citizenship after five years of continuous residence and support a chain migration for the rest of their family. The time requirements for citizens would ensure greater financial stability of foreign residents in America, creating a greater ability for support of a family in the United States and help to ensure employment patterns for the new residence. This proposed solution will provide greater care for our foreign residence in our land and decrease unequal treatment of immigrants as they are given greater consideration and legal protection. This will also ensure that they will be taxed to provide more capital to fund programs which they may require and the proposed chain migration in the future would ensure that residents become net contributors to the government as their families contribute more in taxes.
Balz, Dan, Guskin, Emily.“Trump Foreign Policy Pronouncements Split the Republican Party”, The Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2017
This source provided me with greater reasoning to state the conversation happening between conservatives as to how to proceed with immigration in the future. This article also emphasized the split between the modern GOP and I wanted to explore this greater especially in terms of immigration. In this source to highlight issues that I had begun to see in the conservative viewpoint. This Washington Post article accurately summarizes many of the current divides of the Republican party.
Byloos, Matty. “Immigrant Farm Workers and Unfair Labor Practices”, Planet Earth Matters and More, 22 Aug. 2011
A photo was used from this article no content from this article was discussed.
Gjelten, Tom. “The Immigration Act That Inadvertently Changed America”, the Atlantic, 2 Oct. 2015
This article discusses the importance of the Immigration Act of 1965 and when the bill was passed and the political climate in 1965. Gjelten mentions how the act was not supposed to change American immigration and how it did. I used this article in conjunction with the current Immigration standards as per the Immigration and Nationality Act to highlight points about the immigration policy in America. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 is the main point of the discussion and this article summarizes its passing and content accurately.
“Immigrants in the United States”, American Immigration Counsel, 4 Oct.2017 p.2
The “Immigrants in the United States” is a fact sheet providing facts and figures in the United states in relation to the immigrant population in the United States, both documented and undocumented. These facts highlight the need for immigrants in various unskilled positions in America, from an organization that currently fights for immigrants in court and provides immigration education to the public. I used this article to justify the proposed abolition of the cap for unskilled workers in the United States, providing greater reasoning as to why I believe this number must not exist but programs be put in place to allow for easier recruitment of immigrant workers.
Immigration and Nationality Act, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Feb. 2013
The Immigration and Nationality Act is the requirements and specific guidelines in which all foreigners become residents. I used this source to highlight the specific issue I had seen with the immigration system and argued for a possible better solution to the problem. The Immigration and Nationality Act sets the requirements to become a U.S. citizen.
Longhi, Simonetta, Nijkamp, Peter, Poot, Jacques. Meta-Analysis of Empirical Evidence on the Labour Market Impacts of Immigration, Econstor, Mar. 2008, p.1
This article summarizes the impact of immigration in the U.S. and shows many different tests conducted to provide quantifiable data on how immigration affects the economy. This source was used to provide quantifiable data, when defending that immigrant competition was not the biggest source of concern for immigration. This source is a scholarly source backed up with many experimental test to provide accurate and quantifiable data.
Thompson, Derek. “How Immigration Became So Controversial”, The Atlantic, 2 Feb. 2018
Thompson has an interesting view on immigration and the divide he has seen in the Republican party and the division the Republican party has experienced from everyone else. He highlights his reasoning on why he believes that immigration reform must continue, while highlighting initiatives and changes in sentiment toward immigrants both on the Republican and democratic sides. I used this article to because it highlighted issues that I had felt were imminent in our immigration system, to further educate myself and my readers. Thompson hits home with his real depiction of the separation of both parties and of the Republican party under the Trump administration.