Immigration as a Path to Citizenship

Even though some of immigrants use legal channels to settle in other countries, many of the undocumented citizens in the U.S. and other developed nations use illegal approaches to become residents. Unlike the legal migration processes, illegal migration poses a threat to a country’s security levels because of the inability to account for the individuals locating to the country undetected. To this lead, criminal networks involved in the smuggling of illegal immigrants have grown significantly because of the high desperation among individuals to relocate to the developed economies such as the U.S. and other western countries. In the same vein, illegal immigration has contributed to the expansion of transnational exploitation of prostitutes where young girls from low-income nations are mistreated. Besides, many governments including the U.S. experience difficulties when handling illegal immigrants who have spend long durations in their adopted countries. Despite their inability to meet the relevant requirements of attaining a citizenship, the illegal immigrants have been socially integrated in the camps, creating a dilemma that interferes with the policy formulation process. From this realization, understanding the changing needs of individuals enables policymakers to develop effective outcomes that improve the social relations between immigrants and the dominant population.

Overview

Currently, more than 11 million undocumented immigrants are residing in the U.S. where they have established their identity and gained access to the country’s social framework. In this regard, the U.S. government, despite its premise to deport the illegal immigrants, has failed to accomplish its mission because of the complexity of the social problem and its impact on the country’s relation with other nations. On many occasions, individuals encounter various challenges that hinder them from accomplishing their desired goals and objectives. Given their inability to attain permanent resident status by pursuing the legal channels, immigrants prefer to be smuggled inside the U.S. where they can work on becoming citizens while they are inside the country (Wright, Morris, and Jack 240). Many individuals believe that governments such as the U.S. should offer the undocumented immigrants a path to legal status where they can acquire citizenship after fulfilling the expected obligations. Hence, creating an approach where individuals can overcome their surrounding channels provides one with an opportunity to accomplish their expected results and focus on becoming successful in their surroundings.

Nonetheless, critics of the process of granting amnesty to the undocumented immigrant maintain that the country’s laws and regulations must be acknowledged. Many of these individuals include policymakers who are in a position to inform the country about the nature of approaches that should be followed to accomplish their expected outcomes. By expressing their fears over the ability of the undocumented immigrants to adhere to the legal regulations when they are granted the citizenship status, the policymakers believe that immigration reform should be defined by deporting the illegal immigrants to give the legal process a new outlook that inspires compliance. Bob Goodlatte, Virginia’s 6th Congressional District representative in 2016 maintained that the U.S. federal administration should not give in to the demands of the illegal immigrants who exploit the country’s weak legal framework to gain the citizenship status (Mangum and Ray 41). Even though previous administrations have issued waivers to illegal immigrants, Goodlatte believes that enforcing the immigration laws at the border and within the country will eradicate the underlying problem of illegal immigration.

Economic Security

Legal immigration status can enhance economic growth because of the incorporation of different knowledge and skills that can be used to overcome different issues affecting individuals in their immediate environment. For instance, many immigrants possess a wide range of knowledge and skills that differentiate them from other people in their host country. By utilizing this expertise, organizations and the country at large can benefit from improved performance and address underlying problems that affect the nature of relations people can have at different occasions. However, if the U.S. and other developed countries resolve the immigration problem, it becomes easier for the federal administration to implement employment laws and regulations that discourage the ongoing discrimination in the corporate world. Currently, economic projections indicate that immigrants eligible for legal status instead of citizenship contribute to $832 billion to the economy within ten years after paying $109 billion in taxes (Camacho, Fabio, and Luca 110). However, if granted both legal status and citizenship, they would contribute to $1.4 trillion and pay $184 billion in taxes. Therefore, formalizing the undocumented immigrants and exposing them to an enabling environment plays an important role that influences the thought process of individuals.

On the contrary, a section of America’s policymakers believes that granting amnesty to the undocumented immigrants would be unfair to the immigrants who have adhered to the regulations and on the path to receive their legal status and citizenship. By holding the illegal immigrants to account for their ability to break the law and exploit the vulnerabilities at the border, Republican policymakers insist on punishing individuals who broke the country’s immigration laws (Landgrave and Alex). When the undocumented immigrants acknowledge their mistakes, it becomes easier for the federal administration to initiate a transition process that focuses on changing their status. Those willing to become citizens should be exposed to background checks, pay hefty fines and taxes, and align their interests with American civics. Importantly, this process would weed out criminal aliens and serial sex offenders involved in the transnational exploitation of prostitution in the country. Therefore, establishing a framework that undocumented immigrants can follow to gain their legal status and citizenship sets the agenda for the creation of a functional system that acknowledges the looming identity crisis affecting policy formulation and implementation in the U.S.

Fair Process

In 2013, Barrack Obama highlighted the availability of a process that would enable undocumented immigrants to gain access to the country’s citizenship program. By guaranteeing the illegal immigrants about the possibility of earning a legal status, the U.S. federal administration discouraged interested immigrants from using the illegal channels to gain access into the country’s borders. However, the 44th President maintained that the immigrants would be exposed to rigorous background checks, huge fines, and learning English to enable them fit into the country’s social structure (Canan-Sokullu 14). Likewise, the fair process would demonstrate America’s sense of humanity by accommodating the different needs of immigrants and exposing them to an environment where they could pursue their desired goals and objectives. Even though the process would be long, fairness will be observed and the immigration laws enforced to prevent similar outcomes in the future. Besides, people’s quality of life would be improved by equipping them with a right to equal opportunity employment that allows them to focus on accomplishing their desired goals.

Concerns over the granting of amnesty to the undocumented immigrants in the country contravenes the concept of fairness that requires those seeking to settle in the U.S. legally to adhere to the outlined processes. Importantly, individuals using the legal channels to become residents in the U.S. undergo a rigorous and time-consuming process, which hinders them from accessing the benefits enjoyed by the undocumented citizens. While the illegal immigrants can work and become part of the American ecosystem, legal immigrants face multiple challenges that affect their desire to become American citizens. From this perspectives, critics of the amnesty program that waives the deportation rules focus on the lack of fairness the policy has over other individuals in their immediate environment. Markedly, the Republicans believe that undocumented citizens should be deported because of their inability to embrace the immigration laws that dictate their interactions with other people and ability to overcome issues taking place in the contemporary society.

Immigration Reform

President Trump’s controversial approach in handling illegal immigration put him on the spot, with many criticizing his inhumane strategy of dealing with the undocumented citizens. He repeatedly maintained that the U.S. was full and any undocumented citizen would be deported. His administration raised funds to build a Mexican wall that would hinder individuals from the neighbouring Mexico from crossing over to the U.S. Importantly, the background of Trump’s immigration reform is based on the impact of undocumented citizens on economic growth (Kolyesnik 1). Firstly, his administration believes that immigrants take a majority of employment opportunities that would have gone to the country’s citizens. Their inability to pay taxes hinders the country’s development agenda, which limits the government from responding to the vital problems affecting individuals in their immediate environment. Even though the U.S. is justified to tighten its immigration laws, the resulting outcomes such as discrimination and mishandling of individuals is an aspect that should be constantly evaluated to overcome challenges that hinder individuals from realizing their expected results.

In February, 2020, the Trump administration implemented the public charge rule, which denies immigrants from low-income countries access to visa and admission to the country. Notably, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would now be tasked with enforcing the law and ensuring that immigrants would comply with the new directive. However, the charge rule does not apply to U.S. residents seeking to become citizens. Besides, the controversial rule does not apply to individuals in the U.S. assisting in the prosecution of criminal cases. Given the limited number of exceptions, the public charge rule became the face of America’s immigration reform because of its demonstration of how the country would deal with illegal immigrants. Undocumented citizens who rely on federal, state, or local assistance were on the verge of being deported under the public charge rule because of their inability to sustain themselves while in the U.S. However, the consequence of permanent separation from one’s immediate family creates an interesting scenario that hinders individuals from aligning their interests with the law.

Understanding the changing needs of individuals enables policymakers to develop effective outcomes that improve the social relations between immigrants and the dominant population. Legal and illegal immigration affect a country’s economic structure and exposes it to an environment where individuals can accomplish their expected outcomes in life. Immigrants flee their countries because of a wide range of issues that range from refugee status to hopes of a better life in the host country. From this observation, illegal immigrants undergo difficult processes before gaining access to the U.S. and other countries. However, introducing immigration reform would clearly stipulate the approaches immigrants should follow to achieve legal status and later citizenship.

 

 

Works Cited

Camacho, Carmen, Fabio Mariani, and Luca Pensieroso. “Dealing with illegal immigration: the role of informality, taxation and trade.” Econ. Ital (2018): 97-122.

Canan-Sokullu, Ebru. “How Blurred is European Public Opinion between Legal versus Illegal Immigrants?” Journal of Contemporary European Research 15.1 (2019): 4-20.

Kolyesnik, Lyudmyla. “Immigration Reform under the Trump Administration.” Fla. Coastal L. Rev. 20 (2020): 1.

Landgrave, Michelangelo, and Alex Nowrasteh. “Criminal immigrants: Their numbers, demographics, and countries of origin.” Immigration Research and Policy Brief 1 (2017).

Mangum, Maruice, and Ray Block. “Social identity theory and public opinion towards immigration.” Social Sciences 7.3 (2018): 41.

Wright, Matthew, Morris Levy, and Jack Citrin. “Public attitudes toward immigration policy across the legal/illegal divide: The role of categorical and attribute-based decision-making.” Political Behavior 38.1 (2016): 229-253.

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