Monday, October 01, 2012

Blog 38 - Immigration Reform

We've talked a bit about immigration these past two weeks (both past and present), and so I wanted to see what you thought about current immigration reform. 

Since the economy has been changing over the past 20 years, so has the need for a diverse work force.  Immigrants can bring some of those skills to America that Americans don't have or haven't been trained to do yet.  Sometimes, highly skilled immigrants have to wait for work visas to come to America even though American companies have requested their presence in the country to work here.  Yet these workers have had to wait months if not years to get work visas.

Another issue concerns undocumented or illegal aliens.  It is estimated that 50-75% of America's agricultural workforce is undocumented.  "Farmers across the country don’t want to see their best workers taken away from them, but whether these workers are given the legal authorization to work will depend on action by Congress." 1

President Bush proposed a plan about seven or eight years ago that would help put undocumented immigrants "on the path to citizenship."  This plan included having the immigrants receive legal immigrant status in exchange for paying a penalty for having stayed here illegally, learn English, become citizens within five to ten years, and become tax-paying, Social Security number-having, green-card-carrying aliens. Opposition in Congress shot this plan down , and so it remains in limbo. 

As we saw in the Frontline special, "Lost in Detention," President Obama and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) have cracked down on illegal immigrants and cast a very wide net across America to deport illegal immigrants with their Secure Communities program.  ICE has tried to reach its quota of 400,000 undocumented immigrants deported every year for the past three years.  The show seemed to imply that if Obama enforced the laws vigorously, then Congress would pass some meaningful immigration reform.  But so far, that hasn't happened yet. 

Two U.S. Senators, one from each party, working with President Obama, had proposed an immigration reform bill in 2010 based upon: "four pillars: requiring biometric Social Security cards to ensure that illegal workers cannot get jobs; fulfilling and strengthening our commitments on border security and interior enforcement; creating a process for admitting temporary workers; and implementing a tough but fair path to legalization for those already here." 2
This plan acknowledges the idea that America must do something about the estimated 10-12 million undocumented immigrants living here already.  The plan also goes after businesses who hire undocumented immigrants and avoid paying taxes on these workers.  "Employers who refused to swipe the card or who otherwise knowingly hired unauthorized workers would face stiff fines and, for repeat offenses, prison sentences."

The plan also wants to improve our economy by insuring that educated immigrants stay here: "Ensuring economic prosperity requires attracting the world's best and brightest. Our legislation would award green cards to immigrants who receive a PhD or master's degree in science, technology, engineering or math from a U.S. university. It makes no sense to educate the world's future inventors and entrepreneurs and then force them to leave when they are able to contribute to our economy." 2

And lastly, the plan addressed temporary workers to acquire green cards: 

"Our blueprint also creates a rational system for admitting lower-skilled workers. Our current system prohibits lower-skilled immigrants from coming here to earn money and then returning home. Our framework would facilitate this desired circular migration by allowing employers to hire immigrants if they can show they were unsuccessful in recruiting an American to fill an open position; allowing more lower-skilled immigrants to come here when our economy is creating jobs and fewer in a recession; and permitting workers who have succeeded in the workplace, and contributed to their communities over many years, the chance to earn a green card.
" 2

Over the summer, the Obama administration helped out young undocumented immigrants by deferring their deportation with an executive order that President Obama had signed.  This program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), affects young people between the ages of 16-30 who meet certain requirements like be in school and not have been a criminal.  DACA potentially affects 1.7 million people, and since it began in August of this year, 82,000 people have applied to stay here for two years. 3   

Pick one of the issues that I've mentioned above:
1. allowing highly-skilled immigrants to get work viasas more quickly;
2. what to do with the 10-12 million undocumented immigrants already here;
3. should Secure Communities continue deporting people;
4. the Senate's plan to reform immigration;
5. deporting school aged children who were brought here illegally by their parents
and discuss your opinions about that issue and possibly if it has affected your family or friends. 

200 words, due by class Thursday 10/4. 

2. "The Right Way to Mend Immigration," by Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham. The Washington Post. March 19, 2010.
3.  "Deferred Action Program Moves Forward." National Immigration Reform. 


Anonymous said...

Bella Adelman
4th Hour
I do not like the current immigration laws for lots of reasons, but I also believe it is good for many reasons as well. People that immigrate illegally are coming to look for jobs and cheap labor, performing necessary jobs that most people would find completely undesirable, or many other reasons. The government should not just be taking parents or family members away. They shouldn’t put them in a waiting house for 3 months. I believe that it is not good though, because people that immigrate and get jobs are taking them away from the people who actually live in the country and need jobs. Taking them away, and moving them back to their own country without their family and just deporting them could mean leaving family member for a long time and not being able to see them. I don’t think people should be put in that position to be living without a parent or a close family member. I think some of the immigrations laws should stay and some they should change. I think they should change how they treat people and how they handle the situation when finding an illegal immigrant. This is my feeling on immigration.

Anonymous said...

Jacob Corbeille
October 3, 2012
U.S. History
4th Hour
Immigration Reform
There are millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States right now and we haven’t treated them the right way. They may be here illegally, but we shouldn’t deny all of them the right to live here. It’s true that a number of illegal immigrants have committed a crime before and may continue committing crimes, but not all immigrants have. Many of them are innocent people who just want to live here so they can start a new safer life. We deprive them of that though by detaining and deporting them away from their kids who immigrated with them. No innocent child or wife or husband should be taken away from one another. We are just making life harder for families who came here to make it easier. When “aliens” are detained some of them are basically being tortured in their cells. Guards abuse many of the women both physically and sexually. Men are also beaten for talking back or just for being a certain race. This is not the way to treat people who only want to prosper with us in our country.

Elise S. said...

I have chosen to talk about the 10-12 million undocumented immigrants already here and the Secure Communities deporting people. Personally, I think that the only immigrants that should be deported are the one who have committed crimes or felonies. The ones who are free of any injustice acts should be able to stay here, but I think they should have to get a visa. The government should provide them with that. They obviously came to America for a reason, and that is to have a better life. I think that the people who have children, especially if the children are American born citizens, that they should definitely be able to stay here. Like I said before, the only people that should be deported are the people who do bad things, especially for our country. Some people, who come over, need a better job or a better life and coming to America is like a nice, fresh beginning for them. They shouldn’t be punished for wanting a better life for themselves and/or their children. I feel bad for the people that are being sent back to their birth place for doing the smallest things wrong. For example, the lady in the video who was almost deported because she got pulled over for speeding and had an expired visa. All they had to have her do is renew her visa and that’s it. They didn’t need to almost deport her. Those are all my thoughts on immigration and the undocumented immigrants.

Elise S.
4th Hour

Anonymous said...

What we should do for immigrants is to make them apply for a visas is to make them apply early. The reason why is because if they come to the u.s with out one they would get sent back to what ever they came from. And for all the immigrants that have a visa but its about to expire they should renew it before ICE comes after them. Now for all the currents immigrants that are here with out a visa we should set up a date were all of them can get a visa and not face any harm. And for all the people
didn't take the chance to get a visa on that date should be sent back. And for all the immigrants that didn't have a visa but didn't do any thing illegal should be forced to get a visa or to leave the country. And for all the immigrants that's have a u.s. kid they should be aloud to say her because it could distorty a good family.

Zach Egziabher

Anonymous said...

I don’t believe Secure Communities should continue to deport illegal immigrants. After watching the video, Lost in Detention, I feel strongly that in certain situations it is not right or fair to deport illegal immigrants. A certain situation where this is not fair is if an immigrant fled their country and came to America because of crime and corruption. That would not be right to send them back to that sort of danger. For example, in the movie there was a mother who was threatened to be killed, so she escaped to America. She was deported back to Mexico and could have been thrown back into danger. Another situation where this is not fair is when mothers or fathers are separated from the American born children. Many illegal immigrants come to America and have children here. If Secure Communities/ I.C.E catches them, then they may be deported and separated form their children and family forever. However, if the immigrants are criminals or have a criminal record, I do understand why they are to be deported.
This situation has greatly affected my family, especially my grandfathers. Both my grandpas came form Iraq on a school visa. This means that they aren’t allowed to work in America. They both went school here and were living on their own without family. In order to make ends meet, they had to work. They were both caught working and were sent to jail. They were threatened with deportation, but got married in order to stay in the country. My grandmother came from Mexico, on a visiting visa but eventually got the right to stay when she married my grandfather. My grandmother knows a lot of people who were deported or affected by someone getting deported.

Lexi Kizy
4th hour

Anonymous said...

I have decided to pick the topic about what we should do with the school aged children who were brought here illegally by their parents. I think that we can solve this problem. One of the ways that we can solve this problem is giving the family a choice to stay or go back to their country but if the family chooses to stay then they would have to have certain punishments for coming over to the U.S. illegally. This would make it fair for the children who didn't do anything wrong. It's not good today because families get separated and children can be separated from their parents for years. This would be a good way to deal with this problem. The punishments should still be strict though because if there are not more people will come over here illegally because they wouldn't be afraid of any consequences. This has been a huge issue for the U.S. and I feel that we should only help the people out who cross the border illegally with children because they probably have a good reason for doing it. So if we give the people a choice it will be better because families will stay together and laws won't be broken without consequences.

Patrick Mason
4th hour

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Senate’s plan for immigration. Although the plan is strict, it eliminates many of the problems with immigration we have today. This new plan would make it easier for immigrants with a PhD or masters to obtain a green card. My own father came from the Philippines after graduation from medical school to the United States for his residency. But because of his visa, he would have to return to the Philippines for a minimum of 3 years after he finished his training before being allowed to return to the U.S. legally. He was fortunate that he found a way to stay here, but many of his friends had to return to the Philippines and could never come back to the United States. My father and his friends were well-educated people and had obtained a M.D. If this plan had been in effect many of his friends would have been able to stay in the United States and contribute to society. I agree with this plan because it is not fair to deport people from our country if they are potentially good citizens and can contribute to our economy. We have 10-12 million illegal immigrants and this law would cut down on the amount of immigrants working here. Especially with unemployment today, it is not fair that jobs go to illegal immigrants because they are cheap workers, instead of American citizens.

Laura G. 4th hour

Ronald Goldsberry 4th Hour said...

I think Secure Communities should continue deporting people that are here in the United States illegally. With that said, immigration should be reformed in order to make deportation worthwhile. If we don't give immigrants a chance to become citizens easily, that will increase the number of people that sneak across the border. People come to the United States to reach their goals and become successful. We should give the people that are here to become successful a chance. Also terrorism, drug-related, and other crimes are committed by some immigrants. This a problem but if we just allow the immigrants that are felony-free to stay here, we can have less illegal immigrants, and a more diverse America. It is important to have immigrants in our community for many reasons. They make up a significant amount of the workforce, add a sense of culture to America, and add to the number of educated men and women in the United States with their PhD, or master's. If we do this we can have a better system for immigrants and the United States. If we needed to we could also add a limit to the number of immigrants. But by allowing easier citizenship to those who deserve it (people who are working or in school and are felony-free), deporting those who aren't citizens, and reforming citizenship laws we can keep the immigrants and the American people content.

Ronald G.

Anonymous said...

Bella Hourdakis 4th Hour

I chose to write about deporting school aged children who were brought here illegally by their parents. I am writing about this because I think it is wrong to deport children for something they have absolutely no control over. Their parents brought them here most likely to provide a better life for them, not a life of hiding from the law or being deported back to their homeland. Considering they moved at a very young age, they are not going to be familiar with their homeland so this is another down side to the situation for the children. The kids in the situation are the innocent ones, they do not deserve to be punished for their parents decisions. I believe the Deferred Action for Cildhood Arrivals or DACA is a very good program. It helps people ages sixteen to thirty stay in America if they meet certain requirements; in school, and have not been a criminal. This program is going to help lots of people who are facing this dilemma move past it. Also it encourages them to stay in school and to stay out of trouble. As for the issue as a whole, it is very wrong and sad to deport children who were brought here by their parents.

Anonymous said...

4th Hour Davion Curry said...
I don’t like the immigrations laws that we have now, I think it’s unfair because there are millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States right now and we haven’t treated them the right way. They may be here illegally, but we shouldn’t deny all of them the right to live here. It’s true that a number of illegal immigrants have committed a crime before and may continue committing crimes, but not all immigrants have, and not all immigrants will commit a crime. And it’s not fair that the children have to lose their parents because of this law and I heard that there was this program that would be great for teens and adults 16-30 years old to stay in the U.S of A as long as they meet the requirement grades for the program.

Anonymous said...

4th hour Jordan B
The problem i pick was the 10-12 million immigrants that are all ready here they such not be deported unless they are crimials or they are wanted in their own courty other then that the immigrants that are just undocumented they such be able to become a american cizten and be and be able to get all there rights and the detention center that have immrigants that have not do anything wrong should be realsed from those detentio center and the ones that were bet up and arrsted in will they lived there and waited in detention to get a ruling and the people that have been deported and have do nothing wrong and were just deported such be able to come back to the country and be able to get ciztenship.

Anonymous said...

I choose #2 “what to do with 10-12 million undocumented immigrants already here.” I feel that the immigrants who are living here undocumented should try to gain their right to live in the United States. I don’t think they need to be deported if they have done something wrong. Plus we could have the undocumented immigrants get the green slip and either they can move back to their home land or start their life in the United States. I don’t think the immigrants can just live here for free. I think that it would be unfair to just kick them out back to their homeland just because they never registered to be a legal citizen of the United States. The immigrants probably snuck into the United States because there could have been problems in their country. Immigrant’s who are getting caught, are punished and mainly deported back to their country, which isn’t fair to the immigrants. If the immigrant’s try to start a family, and then the immigrant’s get caught, then they are deported away from their family for a long time. Sometimes they never see each other again. So like I said before, the immigrants should try to gain their rights of living here and not be deported or punished for not really doing anything wrong.

Jaime E. 4th Hour

Anonymous said...

Issue 2

I believe that every single illegal immigrant should be deported. Some people say that we should let the illegal aliens that have not broken the law stay in America but they have all broken the law for being in this country illegally so they should all be deported immediately. Illegal aliens are stealing money from the country because the live and work in the country and fail to pay any taxes. The government should be vigorously enforcing the law about illegal aliens and work hard until they deport all of the illegal aliens. We also refer to them as illegal aliens and they are in this country illegally so I don’t think they even deserve human rights. If we are trying to get rid of the countries deficit we should be quick to deport all of the illegal aliens and we should give their jobs and homes to people that are legally in this country and that pay their taxes. I think we should make programs for people to come to this country and work and pay taxes but if someone has been staying here illegally then they should be removed from the country right now.

Max Watzman

Anonymous said...

Issue #2

We should deport all illegal immigrants regardless of whether or not they have children here. Some would say that they should be able to stay because they haven’t committed any crimes but coming here illegally is a crime and stealing jobs from American workers is completely unfair to those workers. Those with “American” children should leave them with a relative or take them with them. Some people will also argue that they are having their civil rights violated, but seeing that they are not citizens of the U.S.A. they do not get any civil rights. This has not directly affected me or my friends, however one day it probably will.

Connor Biondo
4th hour

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nicai Sorrell said...

I believe deporting school aged children who were brought to North America illegally by their parents is a rightful thing to do. Though it may sound heartless, it was the parents that brought them here and must think that they deserve the right to a better education, but the fact is that they are still undocumented immigrants. Had the parents been illegal then gave birth to the kids it would be a different story. People may think it's worst to deport a kid than an adult because of the age difference or may look at it as a more lenient task to keep them in the US, however, the situation is a crime none the less and if the parents want to give their kid a better demographic to live in, I see that it is done fairly and just fully instead of committing crimes to get the solution you hoped for. In the end, not only are illegal immigrants making it harder on themselves and other relatives, their making the country of Mexico look undignified.

Anonymous said...

I am going to talks about immigrants. I think that the things ICE does to immigrants are really unfair. They hurt innocent people to jail and do bad things to them there. Taking mom/dads away from their children is never fair; I think that everyone deserves to have a safe family. Children shouldn’t worry about their parents being taking away. In the video, they show the way ICE treats the immigrants and I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. They are just hurting innocent people and making them suffer for absolutely no reason. Being an immigrant doesn’t mean you’re a terrorist or a bad person. Some of the guards at the ‘’jail’’ rape the women there, which is absolutely unacceptable. I think that immigrants should have the same rights as the Americans. Everyone should be treated equally. Being foreigner does not mean you’re a bad person. It does not mean that you’re a terrorist. Hurting old men is not okay, raping women is not acceptable. Anyways, all I am trying to say is that illegal immigrants are not bad people and they should not suffer like that anymore. ICE should just stop hurting innocent people. That’s just my opinion on this whole thing.

Dina Kadadi
4th hour

Anonymous said...

Sorry this might be a little late but I'm sick with bronchitis and I didn't have time but I feel that highly skilled immigrants should be able to stay. If there already doing work and there helping the economy then why should they be punished. But I also think they should be paying taxes no person should be able to live with all these privileges for free. I think if they find them they should force them to become a citizen and if they refuse they will be put on a parole for a certain amount of days then they would be detained and sent home. Then they would have a court date and if they still want to live here they would have to take the test to get into the country. Jason C.

Anonymous said...

I chose to talk about the 10-12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States today. I think that they should be allowed to stay in the United states unless they have a criminal record. I say this becasue I don't see a point in sending them back to their home country if they haven't done anything wrong. Yes, I understand that they entered the country illegally but i'm pretty sure there was a good reason why. I also think that the immigrants with American children should be allowed to stay because that would be breaking up homes and you don't want that. Another reason I think that the immigrants with no criminal background should be allowed to stay because they came to America to better themselves. They were looking most likely looking for work and trying to get themselves and children if they have them. I feel as if the immigration laws should be reformed because I don't see the problem in immigrants coming here if they aren't causing trouble.
Johne' D 4th hour

Anonymous said...

If you are in this country you should be deported because there are so many problems with people crossing over our border doing the wrong things in our country. Drugs, weapon and human trafficking are some of the illegal activates taking place in America. If we close and patrol our borders but the problem is many innocent people get in trouble with ICE that did not really need to get in trouble with the law. The immigration laws need to be enforced. I think the people who have been in this country for over 20 years on expired visas should not be deported, that can’t afford the cost to renew their visa. Overall I think there will be many changes with the immigration system. lenny trotta 4th hour