Dear Future President,
I’m sure you are very familiar with the concept of illegal immigration--a major issue in this year’s debate. Millions of people are hiding in the shadows, avoiding deportation; however, there is no plan for them to become legal citizens. Instead, we are picking them up and dropping them right back where they came from-- poverty and war. These people did not just come to America for no reason. They came looking for a better life, and with some time and work, we can give them that.
We have tried an immigration reform before, Ronald Reagan signed The Immigration and Control Act in 1986. According to the Washington Post, the number of illegal immigrants has soared from 5 million in 1986 to 11.1 million today. The IRCA left about 2.5 illegal immigrants untouched, creating an even bigger issue for us today. So why didn’t the IRCA work? One issue was that the amnesty program made it illegal for employers to hire an undocumented resident. It was meant as a way for the government to figure out what to do with them. Instead, it made the immigrants want to hide more, afraid of being deported. Another issue with the IRCA was the legalize now and enforce later policy. In 1986, we did gain quite a lot of new citizens, but we didn’t focus on enforcing citizenship. The government was so focused on legalizing all of the illegals that a lot of people posing as american citizens slipped by.
It is important that for future immigrant reforms, we fix these issues. I propose that, instead of making it illegal for employers to hire illegal immigrants, we ask the immigrants to come forward, no charge, no jail, no deportation. This way we know who is undocumented, but their jobs do not have to suffer. It also prevents the employers from getting in trouble. As for the legalize now and enforce later policy, our government needs to take the time on each person’s citizenship. If we rush, people will slip by and the problem will continue to get worse. Illegal Immigration is no small job to fix, but that doesn’t mean we can sacrifice the quality of our citizenship.
Some people may suggest that verifying immigrants citizenship would take too long and too much effort, but deporting our immigrants presents a bad picture of america. Deporting is not the answer, and we need to do everything we can to legalize these residents. According to Immigration Procon, gaining citizenship would mean immigrants would be authorized to work, would not be subject to deportation, and could travel in and out of the United States. These privileges can change the lives of some people. Support an immigration reform today!
"Congress Tried to Fix Immigration Back in 1986. Why Did It Fail?" Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
"Grassley: Lessons Learned from the 1986 Amnesty under President Reagan | The Iowa Republican." The Iowa Republican. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.