Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Amnesty or Punishment for Illegal Immigration?

In the Christian Science Monitor article linked above, there are new proposals for how to deal with the estimated 12 million illegal aliens in America. Bush has proposed requiring them to return to their home countries and pay a penalty of $10,000, which would then enable them to come back and work in the U.S. on a 3-year visa.
Others suggest an embrace of the STRIVE Act (Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy). The STRIVE Act would require undocumented workers to leave the US to regularize their status, but not necessarily that they go to their countries of origin. The House plan also sets a lower fine: $500 for those who want to continue to work in the US under a guestworker program and $1,500 to get on a path to citizenship. Both plans would open a path to citizenship to those in the US before June 1, 2006.
Reflections?

4 comments:

Iowa said...

First off, I think it's really interesting that the topic that has dominated our classroom all semester is visible all over the country. It's nice to know that some of the stuff we've learned is applicable in society.

It's also good to see that the immigration has been recognized as a problem and that it is being addressed, if not solved. As far as President Bush's proposal and the STRIVE Act are concerned, I think they both present a similar problem... who is going to get the illegal immigrants who are currently in the country to voluntarily return home? President Bush said himself that it would be impossible to find all the undocumented immigrants in the U.S. right now. I don't know how close the president's proposal comes to the amnesty granted in the 1980s, but it seems like people are always going to have problems with any solution that is presented.

zain said...

The debate over illegal immigration continues as numerous suggestions and recommendations continue to become the subject of discussion among different political entities. Are the new recommendations practical and effective? It is very difficult to answer this question in either a yes, or a no. My biggest concern relates to the implementation of the new policy recommendations that have been suggested by the article. Firstly, who is going to identify the 12 million illegal immigrants across the country, and then send them back to their home countries? Secondly, what policy measure will ensure that the new guest-worker program will not lead to a new version of 'amnesty' for the millions of illegal immigrants? Thirdly, how will employers be able to identify illegal workers when there exists no standard means of identification of legal workeres? The creation of a nationwide legal worker card has been already rejected by the US politicians. Fourthly, where does the US Government stand on the issue of those children who were born to illegal immigrants? Yes, the children might have dual nationalities and they might be able to accompany their parents back to their parents' home countries, but how fair it is on the US' part to deport its own legal citizens.
The issue of immigration is very controversial and it is very unlikely that we will see a sound solution to the problem in near future. We can only hope that the US might find a fair and economical solution to solve the conundrum of illegal immigration.

YON said...

I am also very happy to see that the issues that have dominated our classroom discussion are being discussed at the national level and that proposed policy may soon become reality. I am proud to have an in-depth knowledge of immigration laws as it allows me to understand both sides of the argument. The STRIVE act does not seem like an all-encompassing solution but it is a start. It is also more likely to have an effect if any because of the lower monetary cost. I believe it to be a good solution because if these illegal immigrants do wish to stay in the United States on a permanent basis why is it overbearing to ask them to do it the proper way. It also gives them a chance to take action into their own hands rather then living in fear of being found out and deported.

morgan marks said...

I guess my major problem is, should the immigrants be fined... $10,000 - some immigrants can't afford that, what then? I really think it is so important for our country to understand why they are fleeing in the first place?! Do they have good reasons... yet then who decides what a "good" reason is? During the panel discussion a few weeks ago, one of the men said a comment that has stuck with me, and bothered me. It's not about the immigrant - in the grand scheme of things, it's about what this country wants from the immigrants, if we even want them at all. As a whole we need to decide our stand, what the majority wants. What can immigrants do for us, not what can we do for them ... and that bothered me, yet I understand his words. I find myself always wanting to help people, always throwing myself out there... but sometimes, you have to 'do you,' so what is our country to do? I don't think it is fair to fine immigrants, but maybe that would slow the stream of immigrants coming to the US. What do we want, that is the question.