Month: November 2015

Leading the Way to Immigration Reform

I’ve written at length on this blog about the severity of the need for immigration reform in this country, and I’ve written about the upcoming presidential hopefuls and what they intend on doing for, or against, immigration reform if elected. But what about our current leader? After almost eight years in the White House, what has Barack Obama managed to accomplish in way of immigration? Recently, he has attempted something some politicians are suggesting is rather drastic.

Through controversial executive action, Obama has recently issued statements to Congress and Senate, proposing some very key changes towards reform. On the official website of the White House, the executive actions are listed as: “cracking down on illegal immigration on the border”, “deporting felons, not families”, and “accountability – criminal background checks and taxes”. All of these appear to be reasonable requests, and reflect desires regarding immigration from both parties. The President is also stated to be working towards paving the way for legal immigration and for unauthorized citizens to “earn citizenship”, as well as becoming more harsh on employers hiring undocumented workers.

Obama also recently underwent proceedings, and is continuing to do so, at the Supreme Court and lower courts before it in order to address the issue of the influx of immigrant children coming here without their parents. These proceedings mostly focused on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as well as a sister program that included their parents. These programs would effectively allow immigrant children and their parents to stay in the United States without prosecution.

Though some of the formerly mentioned legislation seems drastic and controversial, something need to be done about the ever growing number of undocumented citizens residing in this country. Will we take the humane route and blaze the trail towards immigration reform in favor of immigrant rights, or will we accept the frightening alternative of deporting hundreds of thousands of families living and working here? Though the answer to this complex question may not surface for some time, reform is necessary, and there’s no denying that.

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Sources:
– https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/immigration
– http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/11/10/obama-appeals-to-supreme-court-to-keep-five-million-illegal-immigrants-from-being-deported/
– http://www.nationaljournal.com/white-house/2014/11/23/Obamas-Immigration-Order-Is-Done-Now-He-Has-Make-Work

Our Story: A Story of America

“We are a nation of immigrants. I am the son of an immigrant myself. Their story, my story, our story is a story of America: hard working families coming the the United States to create a brighter future for their children. The story of immigrants is the story of America, a story rooted in family and fueled by hope. It continues today in families all across the United States” – Senator Bernie Sanders

The above quote was spoken by Senator Bernie Sanders, a current presidential hopeful running in this coming 2016 presidential election. Sanders is viewed as being the second most popular and “likely” candidate to take the nomination for the Democratic ticket behind Clinton.

Sanders, having a long history in politics, has a solid and, naturally, incredibly liberal stance on immigration reform. According to his official website, Sanders has personally worked with migrant workers and has a long record of reaching out to those he seeks to serve to better understand their conditions and their plight. He has positioned himself as a candidate who truly cares about this nation and the people in it, and certainly as a champion for immigration reform and security for unauthorized citizens.

On his webpage is listed the Senator’s views on immigration and immigration reform. Sanders has made it clear that he thinks unauthorized citizens need to be addressed and be able to be open about their position. He is against the construction of a “border fence”, and notes that those who immigrate do so to escape perilous conditions. Should our country turn these refugees away after positioning ourselves as a nation of opportunity and freedom for all? Sign into law the DREAM act, and extend President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to include parents of those this program helps – will we also be responsible for tearing a part families? Sanders wants to better legal aid offered to immigrants, as well as increase wages for migrant workers and revise current trade policies.

These all appear to be hefty goals to fulfill, and it is unfortunately not uncommon for elected candidates to fall short of the policies and laws they promised to enact during their campaigns. If Sanders were to be our next president, though, how drastically would circumstances change for immigrants in our country? Would these different policy revisions help or hurt the plight of the unauthorized citizen? Would Sanders even be able to be successful in this dramatic reform he supports, or would he lack support from Congress and the House of Representatives?

What would our country look like if it included all of the people who worked, loved, and lived here?

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Sources: