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PRO Jason Rochlin

CON

The current immigration system is flawed and in desperate need of reform.

Savannah Stern

It is estimated that there are currently around 11 million illegal immigrants residing all over the United States, many have settled and started families, adding complication to resolving their status. One of the priorities of President Obama’s second term is to fix the current problems in the immigration system. Last week, he put his proposed policies on the table for Congress and the American people to decide on. He has taken a four-pronged approach to the problems. The first prong addresses the failures in enforcing our immigration policies at the borders. There has been an increase of troops and border agents defending the American borders since the Sept. 11 attack, but there is still work to be done to stop the illegal trafficking of contraband across the border. The President has proposed additional funding to enforcement agencies as well as new methods of identification for citizens, including a non-counterfeitable Social Security card. This change alone reduces the influx of illegal immigrants as well as gives them the extra opportunities to become legal through the use of new technologies. This sort of improvement will not only reduce the influx of illegal aliens that could bring criminal activity into the country, but also gives them a chance to become legalized. The second aspect will fix the problems with enforcement of immigration laws amongst employers. The President is proposing a mandatory computerized database for all employers in the United States to use

for verifying a new employee’s availability to work in the United States. This, along with greater penalties for those that violate the laws, make up the second part of his proposal. Another part of the president’s proposed plan is to create a policy that will encourage those who come to this country for their education to stay. With more legal and better trained citizens getting the jobs in America, the quality of goods would most likely be improved. Prong three includes incentives for students, with an emphasis in the STEM disciplines to stay in the U.S. after they complete their degrees so that they can start companies in the U.S. Prong four will humanely address the plight of the 11 million illegal aliens already in the United States. With the proposal that all current illegal immigrants should register, pay taxes, and stay within the law in return for being given a path towards citizenship. This change, as well as the DREAM Act, which would allow illegal children a temporary citizenship and the chance to apply for full citizenship if they complete two years in the military or in a four-year college, will resolve the legal and moral issues brought about when children of illegal immigrant parents are born as citizens. With an improved immigration system comes a more diverse nation of people that can fully embrace American culture and the American Dream.

RUHS ethnic

Multiracial 2% American Indian 4%

also discourage many immigrants from coming out of hiding as well. They will have to wait even longer for their green cards and pay the taxes they haven’t paid since they arrived in the country, which could put them in debt. The concept of “earned citizenship” may encourage an increase in illegal immigration as well. The process of waiting for a green card, passing background checks, and learning English could be seen as far more difficult than crossing the border and finding a job that pays less but still allows someone to pay the bills. Instead of reforming border security and spending the money to increase security, Obama should put money towards other important issues in the country such as the national debt. According to the White House’s fact sheet on Obama’s proposal, border security today is stronger than it has ever been and Obama doubled the number of border patrol agents back in 2004. If security is so strong and there are so many agents, then why is reform necessary? Isabel Garcia, co-chair of Derechos Humanos, stated immigration is the lowest it has been in 40 years. Security is strong and immigration is low, so Obama should be looking at enforcing immigration laws rather than reforming them. Overall, Obama’s immigration reform proposal is costly and may encourage further illegal immigration. Instead of reforming the immigration laws and building up security, Obama should focus on enforcing the laws already in place.

Out of 104 students polled...

breakdown Pacific Islander 1%

There are 11 million in the country today. They could be neighbors or friends, and they perform the jobs many Americans scoff at. They are illegal immigrants. The issue surrounding them and their entrance into the country is whether or not to reform the laws that are supposed to keep them out. President Obama’s immigration reform proposal has four different parts: continue to strengthen border security, crack down on companies that hire undocumented workers, hold undocumented workers accountable before they can earn citizenship, and streamline the legal immigration system for families, workers and employers. While Obama’s proposal sounds good in theory, carrying out such a plan would cost a large amount of money. In the last year alone, immigration reform costs totaled about $18 billion, according to therealnews.com. With Obama’s plans of introducing more security measures, such as new technology to increase border security, comes more money out of taxpayers’ pockets. The cost is just one issue with Obama’s proposal. Obama’s proposal calls for holding undocumented workers accountable before they can earn citizenship. This includes immigrants paying a penalty of moving to the end of the line for a visa, learning English, passing backgound checks, and having to pay taxes. The path to “earned citizenship” may

Current immigration laws do not need to be changed; they just need to be better enforced.

Hispanic 24% Caucasian 47% African American 9% Asian 13%

88% were born in the United States. 5 HIGH TIDE. . OPINION

High Tide Feb. 8, 2013 Edition  

Vol. XCIII Edition 9

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