“The world can be a dangerous place but we can make it safer through reasonable immigration policies”. Immigration has been and is a hotly debated topic that has created sharp arguments for and against it. The confronting positions were evident in the recent presidential elections pitting Democrats and Republicans. Majority of republicans favour a closed and strict immigration policies and laws whereas the democrats favour an open border allowing entry to migrants from different parts of the world. Immigration has been further categorised into legal or illegal migration and the proponents of closed border polices have even advocated for removal and deportation of foreigners in the USA. On the other hand, the democrats and proponents of open borders have fronted arguments that the country benefits from immigration of foreigners. As such it is critical that we strike a common ground on the issue of legal and illegal immigration.
Immigration is cross-border movement of persons from one country to another. As such legal immigration would be movement within the bounds of law. On the other hand, illegal immigration is unauthorized cross-border movement of nationals from a foreign country to another in total violation of host nation’s law. As stated earlier, illegal immigration is a divisive issue between the republicans and the democrats and it become evident during the presidential campaign, moreover, it makes us ponder on the divergent issues.
The proponents of open border or majority of democrats believe that the USA government should open the borders and allow immigrants from other regions. First, immigration has benefited the USA as it has contributed to increased productivity and therefore led to growth in the economy especially when companies hire non-native with required skills which cannot be found in the USA (Meissner eta al 8-9). Moreover, with immigrants it would be difficult to envisage a situation of decline in working age number. Secondly, cross-border immigration has lead to a highly competitive and skilled labor market and therefore ensured that the USA remains competitive as compared to other countries. In addition, continuous studies have indicated that legal and illegal immigrants usually get into self employment and as a result hired non-immigrants works (Margret 16). Furthermore, immigrants have brought to the USA their culture way of life, food and therefore contributed to a dynamic society (Meissner eta al xv).
Thirdly, USA is famously referred to as the land of milk and honey people from other parts of the world aspire to live or at least visit USA. This is evident seeing the number of Latin Americans crossing the border. In addition, due to global crisis such as terrorism immigrants from Asian countries such as Syria and Iran have sought refuge in USA as they escape genocide and by opening its borders the USA will be advance humanity (Margret 16).
On the other hand, Republicans and those in favour of closed border and strict policies on illegal immigration perceive migrant workers as competition in the job market and can deny the native jobs (Caplan 10). This has been the argument all along, that the immigrant workers from Latin America such as Mexico illegally cross the border and once they are in the country they can accept any wage. This mean that the wages goes down due to supply and demand forces as a result the natives cannot secure a good paying job thus exposing them to poverty and poor living conditions (Caplan 10).
Secondly, undocumented migrants are viewed as political enemies with republican politicians because they determine how votes are shared (Mayda, Anna and Steingress 33). Poll numbers have indicated that immigrants then to vote for democrats as opposed to the Republicans, this was evident during the 2012 elections. Immigrants present a new demography which has to be tamed.
Third, closed borders mean protection of American culture and liberty (Caplan 11). Immigrants relocate with their ways of life which definitely influences the natives negatively. For instance, deterioration in English language has been attributed to immigrants. Moreover, Americans enjoy many liberties, immigrants from war torn countries find it difficult to abide to the law and mostly cause harm to the native (Caplan 12). Gang violence and drugs has been attributed to immigrants.
Although Republicans and Democrats have sharp opinion on immigration, both acknowledge the need for reforms in immigration laws. Secondly, both sides seem to agree on the case of illegal immigration and can relax their positions on lawful immigration. Third, there is general consensus that children of undocumented migrants should be given citizenship as no one will be happy to see a child separated from her mother.
One of the ways to curb illegal immigration is to have a strong border police and having stringent rules at the airports. Secondly, there is need to administer English test so as to retain quality language in the USA. Thirdly, thorough screening of legal migrants so that we can only allow the best to come in as opposed to criminals or terrorists.
In a conclusion, democrats and republicans have hard-line positions on immigration generally as highlighted. However, there is need to stop the blame and work together to build a better nation without victimizing any human after all as they say “America is a nation of the immigrants”.
Caplan, Bryan. Why Should We Restrict Immigration? Cato Journal, Vol. 32, No. 1. 2012
Margaret, Orchowski. The Politics of Immigration Reform and How Progressives Fit In
Mayda, Anna, Peri, Giovannin and Steingress, Walter. Immigration to the U.S.: A Problem for the Republicans or the Democrats. 2015.
Meissner, Doris, Meyers, W. Deborah, and Michael Fix. Immigration and America’s Future: A New Chapter. Migration Policy Institute, 2006. Policy Brief. 2010