The Senate, White House, Democrats and Republicans always seem to have conflicting opinions on our country’s major issues, and immigration reform is no different.
Senator Orrin Hatch recently introduced a bill to the senate titled “Immigration Innovation Act of 2013,” which will reform and amend the “Immigration and Nationality Act.”
There have been extremely mixed reactions to the bill, and the two main arguments are about what to focus on: strengthening the Mexican border or improving the current citizenship requirements.
Most Republicans choose to push improving the border, but I have to go against the majority of my fellow Republicans.
According to the bill, the purpose of it is “to amend the ‘Immigration and Nationality Act’ to authorize additional visas for well-educated aliens to live and work in the United States, and for other purposes.”
Let’s face it. Controlled immigration is good for our economy. Much of our gross domestic product is produced by companies who hire skilled immigrants, legal and illegal. But recent crackdowns, as a result of the Immigration and Nationality Act, on undocumented workers are having a negative impact.
According to an Oct. 28, 2012, article published by Bloomberg Businessweek, “[These crackdowns] are already hurting farming and are likely to spread to other sectors, including construction.”
Aside from the economic negativity, current regulations are making life difficult for those who were born in this country. And the regulations are creating a different problem for American tax payers: The funding of foster care.
According to a Feb. 11, 2013, article published by the Los Angeles Times: “Currently, according to the Applied Research Center’s report ‘Shattered Families,’ at least 5,000 children of immigrants live in U.S. foster care because their parents were detained or deported. If the current trends hold, the center estimates, 15,000 more children over the next five years will be ripped away from their mothers and fathers as a result of federal immigration enforcement actions.”
Instead of strict deportation laws, how about making the processes to gain citizenship easier for illegal-immigrants who are trying to work, provide for their families, get an education and become honorary citizens so their families are not ripped apart?
There are countless stories of people who have tried to get citizenship but were held up in the complex processes and then were caught in a bad situation. Next thing they knew, their lives were shot straight to hell.
For example, an Aug. 25, 2012, article published by the Huffington Post told the story of a couple from Connecticut. Rony Molina became a U.S. citizen in 2009 and then took some bad advice from an immigration attorney on how to get citizenship for his illegal wife.
The attorney had Sandra, Rony’s wife, go to Guatemala. Then the attorney told Rony to sponsor her return, which was legal. But the plan didn’t go well.
“Though she has no criminal record, her petition was denied,” according to the article. “Desperate, she tried to re-enter with the aid of a ‘coyote’ who demanded $5,000, but she was stopped at the border, detained in Arizona for two weeks, then deported.”
The story goes on to tell how she couldn’t cope in Guatemala, how her brother was kidnapped for ransom, how she eventually fled to Mexico and how she has thought about killing herself, if she hasn’t done so now.
What about stopping what caused these issues in the first place? Why not focus on protecting the border so this doesn’t happen? History is history, and illegal immigrants are here. Plus, protection of the border has improved, while the pathway to citizenship has not.
According to a Feb. 10, 2013, article published by Fox News, “Roughly 365,000 people attempted to cross U.S. borders illegally in fiscal 2012 — a nearly 50 percent drop since fiscal 2008 and 78 percent drop from its peak in fiscal 2000, according to a Feb. 1 report by the U.S. Border Patrol, which based the findings on apprehensions.”
There has been drastic improvement for protecting the border, but little improvement for helping those who are here now. The new senate bill for immigration reform has my vote, but more needs to be done.