'Common sense' immigration reform
Views 22 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 10 - 4 - 2017 | By: Grant Gardner
Two weeks ago, the Trump administration announced it was winding down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy. This Obama-era policy allowed minors who came to the United States illegally to be granted renewable two year periods during which they would not be deported and could potentially obtain work permits. The move to end this program has ignited a firestorm of debate on both sides of the aisle, which has expanded to include immigration as a whole. Trump has given Congress six months to act before officially rescinding the program, allowing one more opportunity to settle the immigration debate for the foreseeable future.
The real issue in question regarding Trump’s move has very little to do with the 800,000 “Dreamers,” and much more to do with immigration in general. President Trump campaigned with numerous promises that he would handle immigration reform, but with Congress accomplishing nothing of value, he has decided to force the issue by using DACA as leverage. Given they have failed on both healthcare and taxes, Republicans cannot afford complacency at a time when Democrats are eager to keep their constituents happy by securing a victory amidst a series of defeats that have left them locked out of power. Politics aside, the solution to this problem must be comprehensive and inclusive, not just another stopgap bill.
The most logical answer to the immigration problem has two steps: secure the border and grant amnesty, in that order. For this concept to work, it is imperative that the border is as secure as possible, which means giving the Border Patrol the necessary resources to do the job.
Whether this includes Trump’s proposed wall, more agents on the border, or other potential improvements, significant changes must be made to enhance security along the country’s expansive southern border. This represents a steep price for Democrats to agree to, but using amnesty as incentive may be enough to get them to the table.
Once the border is successfully handled, granting amnesty to those already in the US makes sense. The majority of illegal immigrants are well-meaning, hard-working people looking for a better life. The criminal contingent should still certainly be deported, but should not be generalized to include everyone.
By granting amnesty, the people and the country benefit immensely. These immigrants would be allowed to work legally, build a better financial position, and improve their lives overall. For the government, amnesty means an increase in tax revenue, a better understanding of who is in the country, and savings on repeatedly tracking down and deporting individuals within the US. This is a win-win situation, until politicking on both sides occurs.
The only caveat to granting amnesty is that it must be a one-time occurrence and the border must be as impenetrable as possible. If this became a recurring policy, the US would get overwhelmed with immigrants trying to get in before the next round of amnesty occurred. If border security was unable to stem the flow of illegal immigration, the country would see a larger influx of immigrants than it did during Obama’s DACA years. It remains to be seen if Congress can implement a program like this within their six month deadline.