Since the colonial period, the United States has struggled to cope with the impacts and laws of immigration. There has been controversial legislation which have been passed and amended or even abolished. But it is important to note that the number of unauthorized immigrants has stabilized in the recent years possibly due to the effective reforms which have been instituted and the necessary background checks which have been put in place. This paper looks at the various issues of immigration in the U.S and the possible solutions that can be implemented to solve these problems.
Immigration in the United States dates back to its colonial period and during its inception. According to the projections by U.S Census Bureau, the basic driver of the country’s population growth within the next two decades shall be as a result of the international migration. There has been an unprecedented increase in the immigrant population within the last two decades, and the immigrant population has largely spread across the country. In 2010, the total immigrant population accounted for over ten percent with states such as Nevada, North Carolina and Washington having an increased growth in the foreign-born populations.
Early immigration in the United States was experienced during the colonial era at the start of the 19th century with most immigrants looking for better economic opportunities while others were looking for religious freedom. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, there was an influx of African slaves who were immigrants against their will. The Anti-Chinese movement also took place between the last half of the 19th century and became more widespread in the 1870’s. The movement was vital in passing of the anti-Chinese immigration legislation which was enforced until the 1940’s.
The National Origins System was a formula that was introduced by the US Immigration Act of 1924 which limited immigration by the available population. The system was aimed at reducing the number of immigrants who as well as promote ethnic distribution across the countr. The Immigration and Nationality Act, on the other hand, reversed the allocation of quotas and eradicated the National Origins System. The law created immigration limits per country and also created a preference in visa categories by skills of immigrants and families within the U.S.
Brain drain is also one of the impacts of immigration into the U.S with the highly skilled and knowledgeable immigrants from poor countries being a source of economic development. At the same time, there is an increase in the population of the country with an increasing number of immigrants. An increased number of immigrants in the U.S also have an economic impact as there will be increased taxes which will arise from the economic activities which are conducted by the immigrants. Language barriers can be a social problem even though the country has made specific stipulations regarding the languages required. On the same note, the emergence of mixed families is also another social impact of immigration as there is intermarriage between the immigrants and the citizens which subsequently leads to an increase in mixed populations.
Immigration in this era can have a lot of impacts to the country ranging from security, political, economic and cultural consequences. But most of the immigrants are largely children and women who are in dire need of legitimate assistance whether they are legal or illegal aliens. As a leader, I would allow the undocumented immigrants to get their way to citizenship. It is quite unrealistic and inhumane to deport the immigrants to the unbearable conditions where they came from. But the path to citizenship should be clear and realistic to give them a legal status of citizenship. The immigrants will help in the stimulation of the economy of the country and also promote the rich and diverse culture.
The President of United States, Barrack Obama, proposes that the government has to deal with the undocumented individuals who are in the U.S illegally. He proposes a clear, comprehensive immigration reform with processes that involves a thorough background check, learning English and paying penalties and taxes. Obama is of the opinion that it will be a quick and fair process which shall help the immigrants to earn a green card and become citizens of the U.S. But according to Robert Tracinski in his article ‘Is Immigration a Threat to Our Culture?’ immigration should be curbed so as to preserve our culture with an emphasis on the political culture from dilution by individuals who were brought in a culture that does not have value for liberty. The argument is that the commitment of the native born citizens to liberty risks being overwhelmed by the immigrants to produce an unwanted culture of an illiberal Third World.
Robert Lynch also gives another opinion in his article in the Center for American Progress. According to Lynch, the immigration debate has several dimensions regarding legal moral and social frameworks. He argues that the provision or denial of the citizenship status has an impact on compliance with the law and will have an effect on giving the opportunity to the immigrants to be equal members of the American society. Immigration and legal citizenship also have an effect on the economic health of the country mostly regarding growth, earnings, and jobs. All these will only be possible with an effective immigration reform policy, and therefore the sooner the legal status is provided to immigrants, the faster the economic benefits shall be witnessed. A documented immigrant will produce more and earn significantly as opposed to if they are ignored in the sidelines. This shall result in an increase in wages which will result in increased spending on food, housing and other necessities which stimulate demand and expands the economy.
My Personal Solutions
On a personal level, I would have rules, regulations, and beliefs which will be critical in helping to solve the immigration crisis. First, I would ensure a crackdown on any illegal immigrants at the border so as to reduce the number of immigrants who are trying to enter the country illegally. This would be done through centralizing the security command of the border to crack down on illegal immigration. Second, I would ensure that felons are deported and not families. I believe that the focus should be on individuals who are a threat to the security and safety of the American public. The deportation shall largely focus on individuals who are suspected of terrorism and or violence. Accountability shall also be a priority so as to ensure a thorough criminal and background checks on immigrants. It is my utmost belief that by registering and passing any security background checks, the immigrants will live without fear of deportation and therefore would pay their fair share of taxes.
In conclusion, the paper has analyzed the immigration trends in the U.S as well as the various legislations such as US Immigration Act which introduced the National Origins Systems. The paper has also looked at early immigration and the anti-Chinese movement which are some of the vital moments in the US immigration history. But the paper agrees that immigration has great impacts on the U.S economy mostly regarding taxes and earnings even though it can pose a security threat. But with proper background and security checks as well as accountability, it is important that illegal immigrants are given a legal path to citizenship in the U.S.