The argument never seems to end, what will the United States do to finally address the issue of immigration reform? The United States is a nation of immigrants, built on the backs of those who arrived here from foreign lands. In fact, the symbol of the United States is the Statue of Liberty, which greeted and still greets boats of immigrants as they pour into Ellis Island, in search of the promise of the American Dream. But America is no longer a youthful nation, recently celebrating her 237th birthday. The borders of the United States are overflowing, and the population crawls ever closer to a half billion. Jobs are harder to find. Federal budgets are a mess and deficits are at an all time high. This has meant that the open arm, melting pot policy has changed. Gone are the days of freely welcoming immigrants to the land of the free and the home of the brave. It has simply become a costly proposition, and generations of natural born Americans are conflicted over the idea of immigration reform.
Immigration reform has been a hot button topic in the United States for years, but the long-standing debate has heated up since President Obama assumed office to serve his first term in 2008. The President has instituted a program, known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) that has allowed almost a half of a million previously illegal young immigrants to attain legal status for two years, thus forcing Congress to finally, officially, have to address an issue that affects so many Americans, legal and illegal alike.
On one side of the argument, you have the minority GOP and even some Democrats from states largely affected by immigration issues, such as Texas, Arizona and Florida. Their contention is that immigration needs to be controlled, that we need closed borders with fences, and that we need to deport as many illegal immigrants as possible. On the other side, you have an argument led by the President himself that, while immigration and the existence of millions of illegal aliens inside the United States is a problem, deportation is not the answer.
Somewhere in the middle, most likely as is the case with all complex problems, lies a solution. But will Congress ever move or act to find that solution?
One can never tell with Congress and the bureaucratic mess that is DC, but at least the recent immigration reform attempts on the part of the Administration have spurred Congress into addressing the issue of immigration reform in general, even if only to stop the President from enacting more immigration reform legislation by himself. Virginia Republican, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, has been working on a different version of President Obama’s Dream Act, offering a much slower paced acceptance program for youthful illegal immigrants, but at least it’s a start. The fact is, we need to find a middle ground on immigration reform, and soon, because this problem is not going to just simply disappear back over the border.