Immigrants have been a source of hard work and innovation for America over the centuries. Without a doubt, the melting pot of our country has led to the most dynamic, most creative, and most successful nation in the history of the world.
It’s also necessary to recognize that, as a nation, we need to maintain control of our immigration system. The current system we have in place, when it works, does a great job of ensuring that highly skilled, hard-working, and invested immigrants can come to this country and integrate, becoming new Americans who contribute greatly to our society.
However, because of issues on the southern border, our immigration system has broken down, and we have over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. While these individuals are generally law-abiding people who work hard and contribute to their local communities, it’s also true that they’re not supposed to be here.
Outside of increasing our guest worker program and making sure that those who receive temporary permission to come to the US to work leave when their time is up, we also need to find ways to address this massive community of undocumented immigrants who entered the country illegally.
Rounding up and deporting that many people is a nonstarter—it would be prohibitively expensive, disruptive, and inhumane to many communities, so a pathway to citizenship must be provided (after securing our southern border, so that we don’t end up right back where we started). However, this pathway must reflect the fact that these individuals tried to circumvent our legal immigration system. It’s even more important to get this right when citizenship guarantees a Freedom Dividend.
There are millions of undocumented immigrants in this country who were brought here as children through no fault of their own. America is the only home they’ve ever known. They’ve assimilated into our culture and view themselves as Americans, despite living under the constant fear of deportation.
This is wrong.
We need to find a solution that allows these individuals to formally integrate into our country.
Border security along our southern border has many issues that need to be fixed to provide security for Americans and equity in our immigration system. You need look no further than the stats on how many undocumented individuals are living in the US, or the amount of drugs that have been apprehended along the border (suggesting a much larger amount that’s made it through).
Many proposals would be expensive and ineffective, while also being ecologically disastrous. The issue has become politicized to the point where there doesn’t seem to be any possible compromise, but our leaders are focusing on single solutions instead of the solutions proposed by groups across the political spectrum.
When searching for solutions, we need to work with border security experts, immigrant advocates, and the Mexican government to provide effective, secure, humane border security.
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