The United States of America seems to be a country with a continual illegal immigration crisis and most will agree that something must be done. However, will the proposed reform plans including the â€śpathway to citizenshipâ€ť resolve the issue? President Barack Obama was voted president twice and most have supported the DREAM Act. There are immigrants who played by the rules and were issued visas but somehow there are a number of things that Americans must know before they take their stand on the immigration reform.
The number is not just 11 million. A significant number of illegal immigrants are already in the country but once they get green cards they can petition for their wives and kids to join them. Once they become U.S. citizens, they can now petition for siblings and parents. In return, the new migrants will petition for their relatives, etc. Immigration preference categories are not always immediate but in a span of 10 to 15 years the number 11 million may become 30 million when it comes to new arrivals.
People who got used to the shadows wonâ€™t come out from it. One of the main reasons why there is a path to citizenship is that it is imperative that we know who the people living here with us that might potentially do us harm. However, it is too much if we expect terrorists or criminals to submit themselves to a series of background checks done by the government.
There are jobs Americans wonâ€™t sign up for. An amnesty for illegal immigrants is often significant because they do tough, low-wage jobs that Americans and legal immigrants wonâ€™t sign up for. This concept looks flawed but will be proven false after the amnesty. Currently, these illegal immigrants are limited only to work under employers who donâ€™t ask questions and just pay in cash. However, after the amnesty they are not legible to compete for jobs in the mainstream labor market especially among less educated Americans who are already suffering from wage instability and tight labor industry.
Illegal Immigrants will enjoy affirmative action programs. As soon as immigrants coming from Africa and Latin America attain a legal status, they will be able to enjoy the affirmative action programs. A recent poll (2009 Pew Research) showed that 22% of white Americans actively encourage giving priority to make amends for discrimination. It is also highly unlikely that a large population of Americans would allow employment or college admission preferences for illegal immigrants.
Our guest worker programs set up donâ€™t work. The plan of our Senate is to get more guest workers claiming that employers can petition for them only if they can show that Americans are either â€śunwilling or unavailableâ€ť to do the work themselves. The program includes our H-2A visa (numerically unlimited guest worker program intended for farm workers), H-2B visa for unskilled laborers, H-1B visa for high skilled laborers and other visa opportunities for entrepreneurs, religious workers and investors. Many employers know how to play their cards including creating false cases that Americans are not available for the work. The new program will only heighten the â€śin-sourcingâ€ť trend where U.S. employers get cheaper guest workers especially for works that they cannot outsource.
Put strain on social services. Most of the illegal immigrants are poor people with no job security or health insurance. If we legalize them, we are putting strain on social services that are already strapped at the moment. An estimated 57% of immigrant households both legal and illegal use at least one welfare program in the year 2009 according to a study conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies. Some benefits are not available for illegal immigrants but if they attain legal status they will get full benefits.
There will be an increase in document and identity fraud. Many of the amnesty applicants would jump a few bureaucratic hoops just to attain green cards but those who fail to quality will leave a paper trail just to complete the requirements.
Not even half of the problem will be resolved. An estimated 50% of illegal immigrants in U.S. are visa overstays. A lot of these people will abuse tourist visa but the Senate plan will not fix this problem. The basic framework has an entry-exit system but it is not specified how to locate and remove overstays. Around 75% of tourist visa applicants in the year 2012 have been approved and the figure is 90% in Mexico. So even if the border has been tightly secured, the temporary visas are still rampantly abused and this is as long as lax visa issuance is an ongoing trend.
Beneficiaries of the amnesty will not join the back of the â€śline.â€ť The Senate plan actually pertains to a â€ślineâ€ť although non-existent. Migrants typically qualify to live in the country basing on family relationship or job alone. Furthermore, the plan claims that the illegal immigrants will not receive green cards unless they join the back of the line â€“ that is if all the people who are waiting have already received their green card.
When an immigrant becomes American citizen and files a petition for a foreign sibling, the average waiting time in this case is usually 12-14 years. A serious plan will not ask amnesty beneficiaries to wait 10 years or longer just to get their green card.
The plan will justify people who break the law. There are visa applicants who jumped through all the hoops and waited patiently in their home countries before they can come to the U.S. legally. If a plan is to provide the same prize for those who flouted the law, it becomes a huge mistake. This sends a message across hundreds of millions of people around the globe aspiring to live on U.S. soil that even people who broke the law still get their green cards. People in their home countries will perceive the law-breakerâ€™s decision to be a smart and will promote more illegal immigration.