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Immigration Reform: The Need for Common Sense in the U.S.

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March 13, 2017 in Politics

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Immigration reform is one of the biggest topics currently in politics, especially with the political turmoil that the United States seems to be in. With tighter immigration policies, those that are looking for asylum from other countries are now fighting their way to Canada, despite the extreme harm they risk to themselves. Something needs to change, and soon. Currently, the United States is rife with separated families and discrimination. Not only is immigration reform already a necessity, but it also provides a lot more benefits than some policy makers choose to recognize.

Common Sense Reform

Most families are moving to the United States to create a better situation for themselves because these are the things that the United States promises. Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder to become a citizen, resulting in over 10 million illegal immigrants. What seems to make more sense: creating a better, more rational way for immigrants to obtain citizenship, or spending millions of dollars building a wall thousands of feet along a border, and also somehow deporting millions of people? Unfortunately, while this is an issue, the government seems to have lost track of visa programs and what is going on. According to a report done by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and it’s director of immigration law, Daniel Costa, everything is still collected on paper forms instead of online digital forms, which keeps everything difficult to keep track up.

There some deportations that occur because those who aren’t American citizens committed a crime. Officially, it needs to be considered an aggravated felony to trigger the process, but unfortunately, this blanket term includes the smallest things, including missing a court date or even being a part of a bar fight. While some crimes are much more severe, there needs to be some way to judge deportation, and yet judges that preside over the case aren’t allowed to weigh in on this. As a result, many people are deported back to their home countries, but it’s not a cheap endeavor. The latest plan for deportation would cost between 100 million and 300 million, according to Time Magazine.

Immigration Detention: A Waste of Money

Most of the time, placing someone in detention before they are deported doesn’t need to happen at all. Those that do make it to the border and ask for the police for help are placed in this detention, despite them having been tortured, trafficking victims, families with children, the elderly, those with mental instabilities and even those that seek asylum. The overall cost? $200 billion a year, and many come out of detention worse off than when they started from abuse, rape, and sexual assaults. This is how people are treated when they need help, or when they’ve missed a court date simply because they are from another country.

Not only are they mistreated, but the majority of immigrants have traveled on foot in freezing temperatures or put themselves in other unsafe situations to get their family to safety. Even when faced with the threat of injuries, amputations and even death, they still believe it’s safer than their home. Some travel for months, two men even lost their fingers from frostbite after sitting in the snow for over 7 hours hoping for help. More and more immigrants are trying to get into Canada because of poor treatment from the US.

Wages for American People

As more undocumented immigrants need jobs, some companies take advantage, placing them in harsh conditions and paying them at a rate lower than minimum wage. For them, labor laws don’t exist. Unfortunately, by setting the bar so low, it means that the average salary for American’s won’t go up. If they are paid the same amount as American workers at minimum wage, it keeps companies from driving down income for everyone.

We All Come From Other Places

Whether you were born here or not, our families moved here from someplace else at one point. Where was the population of immigrants going? New York, where Ellis Island was considered a gateway to the New World. Today, those numbers have still kept New York as a prime destination for the same reasons our ancestors went there. Now, New York is home to 4.5 million immigrants, which is more than even Los Angeles has. If it were as difficult then to get in as it is now, we wouldn’t be able to have these discussions about policies. The US has given us plenty as a national community, and it’s time to share.

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