May 2, 2014

America Deals With Immigration

Jesse D. Andrews is a graduating Senior Biology major from Fresno, California at Morehouse College. He is a youth philanthropist and guest journalist for New America Media. He is the Chairman of Atlanta’s premier scholarship foundation, The Exception Campaign. Ph. 404.953.0243

America Deals With Immigration

Across this great nation citizens, politicians and immigrants are talking about America and her new thought on immigration reform. Primarily, comments are spurning great controversy and interesting discussions about its legality and its new formed thought of implementation. Thoughts ranging from deportation of more than 11 million people, making our borders more secure and the highly controversial DREAM Act.

Can we possibly deport more than 11 million people because they do not have a "Green Card"? I most certainly hope not! The 11 million people who reside in our country are comprised of those who work, attend primary and secondary schools, or are currently enrolled in a higher education institution. They do the jobs most Americans claim to be too educated to do and they have children who are legal citizens. So how do we deal with this?

President Obama proposed 21st Century Immigration Reform that allows for the United States to be the model country on dealing with immigration. In his proposal he highlights four points:

·         Responsibility by the federal government to secure our borders.

·         Accountability for businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers.

·         Strengthening our economic competiveness by creating a legal immigration system that reflects our values and diverse needs.

·         Responsibility from people who are living in the United States illegally.

It's a start. Whether this passes the House and Senate is another story. As heavy an issue as Immigration Reform is people have forgotten that the immigrant has feelings too. Too many immigrants who were scientists, nurses, engineers, and doctors in their own country have come to this country looking for opportunity, only to find that they can only work on a farm, clean in hotels and homes, and work other low wage jobs.

Yet, the only thing that is hard pressed in the media is economic growth, economic competiveness, and retaining talent from immigration reform by using the illegal minimal wage workers to do the labor. In an article published in the Chicago Business:

"According to the Bipartisan Policy Center Report, 'immigration reform would create 105,923 jobs in Illinois and boost the state's economic output by $1.8 billion.'"

Not only in Illinois, but these benefits from immigration reform exists across the 50 states of America reducing the national deficit by more than half by 2020. Last year alone it was reported by the National Conference of State Legislatures that over 437 laws and resolutions passed were on immigration. This means local measures are being put in place to ensure that the money doesn’t go to waste.

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and others are sounding the alarm that they would support legalizing the 11 million illegal immigrants, but would not support reform that would help future immigrants become legal citizens. They could eventually get citizenship, it’s the eventually that creates the problems. It takes more than 10 years for an illegal immigrant to become a valid U.S. citizen. So what's driving this thinking? Possibly the fact that just a few years ago more than three out of four patents produced at top American Universities were immigrant inventors.

Many immigrants migrated to America looking for better societal values and to accommodate most of their diverse needs. Only to find a racial thread that is woven into the fabric of America, (12 Years A Slave brought this out) limitations on parents whose children are fluent in English. Lastly, a group of representatives who have no values and truly do not care about anyone’s diverse needs.  

Crossing the border into Mexico made it apparent that there is a new working class in America. Coming to America from France made it apparent that Americans need to work on being courteous when greeting foreigners. What was of significance was the lack of staff to man the borders to accommodate the growing rate of immigration.

Lastly, safer and secured borders are a must. Gun violence and security in our public schools should not receive inadequate attention from our national and local government. Foreign terrorism is real and too often domestic terrorism reminds us it’s alive and thriving in our public school systems and in higher education. This complex issue of immigration reform is a hot topic and it needs the voice of those whom the reform will affect to be at the table both legal and illegal citizens. 


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