REFORMING A BROKEN SYSTEM
Almost everyone I know is the child of an immigrant to one degree or another. Immigration is what has made America who we are, for better or worse. Before I discuss what to do, let’s talk about some ideas that are just impractical and embarrassing for the people that thought them up or those that support them. First, the deportation of all current illegal immigrants is a fantasy, a logistical, economic, social, and practical impossibility. The “wall” is equally laughable, unless its aim is blatant and directed racism towards one group of immigrant.
Illegal immigrants have lower crime rates per capita than the native born population. The fact remains that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are just people trying to build a better life for their families, just as those of us who were born in here. While many have committed a crime by entering illegally, about 45% of undocumented residents originally entered legally and overstayed their visa. Fear of immediate deportation or jail time often prevents illegal immigrants from beginning the citizenship process. A process that is unclear and time prohibitive when struggling to earn a living. So what do we do? How do we accept these future Americans that are already on our soil as well as those to come? We need to create a path to citizenship that includes comprehensive background checks and employment requirements for illegal immigrants and specific time tables that do not put these immigrants in an endless and hopeless loop of bureaucracy that continually baits them with the empty promise of citizenship tomorrow.