M. Bryan Strain
Nathan Straight, PhD
12 October 2012
Crossing Borders: US Immigration Policy
For my article on the topic of US Immigration Policy, I choose a White House article on President Obama’s views for Immigration Reform. The article can be found on the Internet at http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/fixing-immigration-system-america-s-21st-century-economy.
The White House expresses the need to reform our current immigration policy. Obama claims a link to the economy and immigration reform. He also recognizes the importance of securing our borders to prevent enemies from having the ability to attack our interests like they did with the attacks of September 11th 2001.
The White House claims the president takes his responsibility to enforce immigration law seriously. However, Obama recently acted unilaterally, without the legislative branch, instructing immigration enforcement officials to ignore immigration laws for some and seek only to export illegal aliens who pose a threat to the people of the United States.
The article highlights four points the White House wants to include in new immigration reform. The first is securing our borders. The second is holding businesses who hire illegal aliens accountable for undermining the law. Third, they want to provide a means for desirable illegal aliens to stay in the country. These include giving illegal aliens a path to citizenship by joining the military or getting a college degree. Fourth, they want illegal aliens currently in the US to apply for citizenship, pay taxes, learn to speak English, and pay a fine for entering the country illegally (The White House and President Barak Obama).
The article left me wondering about several issues. First and foremost was the credibility of the president when he says he takes his responsibility to uphold the law seriously, then unilaterally decides not to enforce the current laws on a group of immigrants.
I also found it hard to understand why the president would take such actions to allow so many illegal aliens to stay in the country and then seek to punish employers who hire them. If the people he wants to stay in the country can’t find work, they end up becoming a draw on the welfare system without providing any contribution to our society.
As the president tied immigration to the economy, I wonder what effect immigration has on the economy. The way I see it, the more contributing members in our economy, the more productive capacity we gain. I would be in favor of opening our borders and sharing the American dream with any who want to come and contribute as full citizens. I would except those with criminal records and those who are known associates of those who threaten our national security.
I’m not convinced our law makers have learned from our treatment of foreign immigrants in the past. They are people who want to live the American dream. If we are truly the champions of such a dream, why do we not share it more freely and more fairly?
The White House and President Barak Obama. “Fixing the Immigration System for America’s 21st Century Economy.” 12 October 2012. WhiteHouse.gov. Government of the United States of America. Web. 12 October 2012.