HLSS322 forum 4.docx - Putting politics aside how should...

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Putting politics aside, how should the United States best address immigration now? What about in the next five years? What about the next ten years? Immigration has been a touchstone of the U.S. political debate for decades, as policymakers must weigh competing economic, security, and humanitarian concerns. Congress has been unable to reach an agreement on comprehensive immigration reform (Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996) for years, effectively moving some major policy decisions into the executive and judicial branches of government and fueling debate in the halls of state and municipal governments. Though many of the policies that aim to reduce unlawful immigration focus on enforced border security, individuals who arrive to the United States legally and overstay their visas comprise a significant portion of the undocumented population. According to the Center for Migration Studies, individuals who overstayed their visas have outnumbered those who arrived by crossing the border illegally by six hundred thousand since 2007. “This has been driven at least in part by a complete failure of the U.S. government to publish credible border security measures that the public trusts and tell them what they really want to know about the state of border security” (Roberts, 2017). America has long welcomed immigrants to our shores. “A nation of immigrants” isn’t a cliché, so much asit is a fact since before our country’s founding. Immigrants come here looking for economic opportunity, freedom, and a better life for themselves and their families. They’ve crossed oceans to work, learn, and live. Our country has benefitted from this influx of cultures and ethnicities, and immigrant workers have made lasting contributions to our economy. But our immigration system hasn’t kept up with the ever-changing world economy. Today, jobs go unfilled because companies can’t find the workers with the skillsthey need. Our outdated and ineffective system now welcomes some immigrants and blocks entry to others often with little consideration of what skills they bring and what roles they would fill in the economy.

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