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?

Monday, April 09, 2007

3 illegal immigrants detained

Three illegal Guatemalan immigrants are being immigration officers. Two of the three men had warrants of deportation against them already, while the third had already been deported and entered the country illegally. Therefore, we seem to be looking at two issues with this story.
1. As much as I tend to sympathize with those who are trying to enter this nation, and are desperate to escape atrocities in their own nations, I find myself torn in cases such as the above, where persons have either already been deported in the past, and have re-entered the nation illegally, or have been ordered to leave the country.
2. This article leads a lot up to speculation, as there is no indication of what kinds of conditions these men were trying to escape. Were they even trying to escape? Or was it just the prospect of attaining the "American dream" that made them do what they did?
Currently, the U.S. has very strict policies about how to enter the nation legally. Unfortunately, a lot of people, particularly those fleeing persecution are unable to meet the conditions stipulated by the U.S. to enter the nation legally. Therefore, many of them enter with fraudulent documents. How do we draw a distinction between such cases and those where people who have been ordered to leave the nation still hang around? Also, is it important to understand why they are still here? Do we think that should matter?