Balancing Sensitivity and Vigilance: Liberal Immigration Reform

 

Sky O’Brien
The conversation about immigration reform in the United States is aging without grace. For years, we have argued about what is good for the economy or what is best for the individual and his/her community.But as we sustain this conversation with opinions and promises designed to please one side of politics, undocumented immigrants continue to cross the border and undocumented immigrants continue to be deported.We could continue this conversation. We could busy ourselves with passionate debates and recycle facts that support one argument and close the door on another. But until we learn to collectively acknowledge that underneath the label of “undocumented immigrant” there exists a person with a heart, hope, and dreams, this conversation will never synthesise into constructive, soul-friendly action.Now, some of us participating in this conversation might argue that soul-friendly action is a worthwhile intention, but if a person has committed the crime of crossing the border illegally, then it is only just and lawful that we send him or her away.Although this reasoning is fair, I would argue that a better solution might be found if resources used to deport undocumented immigrants were instead directed into finding a way to stop illegal immigration in the first place.

Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any bipartisan agreement in addressing the cause of illegal immigration. But who needs bipartisan agreement when you can build a big wall and hope it solves the problem, even when an Immigration and Naturalization Service report estimates that close to 40% of all immigrants arrive by plane and overstay their visas?

Despite the lack of consensus on the topic, I would argue that liberal immigration reform under President Obama found a necessary balance between sensitivity and vigilance in its approach to the challenges presented by undocumented immigrants in the United States. A good example is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

DACA was conceived on June 15, 2012 when the Secretary of Homeland Security announced, “certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization.”

Rather than sending home men and women who make meaningful contributions to the United States in the form of economic productivity, culture, diversity, and community, the program has so far allowed more than 800,000 young undocumented immigrants to obtain temporary work permits and avoid the prospect of deportation.

This policy is both sensitive and vigilant because it focuses on public safety, border security and the integrity of the immigration system through the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security. But it recognises that deporting innocent, striving children is both unnecessary and harmful to the child and his/her community.

On November 20, 2014, President Obama proposed an executive initiative that would have allowed “parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years provided they have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and pass required background checks.”

The program, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), once again shows the common-sense liberal acknowledgement that many undocumented immigrants, particularly the mothers and fathers of lawful citizens, bring goodness and prosperity to the United States. What’s there to be gained in deporting these people?

Unfortunately, 26 states (led by Texas) challenged the plan, which was later blocked by the Supreme Court. These states claimed that President Obama, by merely advocating for the societal, cultural, and economic contributions made by undocumented immigrants, was misusing executive power and circumventing Congress. Although this may be accurate, I would argue that such a claim only shows the difference between liberal and conservative reasoning.

I believe that liberal immigration reform is about striving for the equal treatment of all people, documented or undocumented, while also adhering to the important rule of law that defines the effectiveness of the United States government and Constitution.

By deporting those undocumented immigrants responsible for causing harm to people or places in the United States, and establishing programs to keep hardworking community members here, Democrats have shown their immigration reform policy to be fair, receptive, 
and balanced.

Connor Fiddler
 
There is a misconception that the Democratic Party has the clear moral authority on policies concerning immigrants. That liberalism, as long as they can hold the illusion, can bring equality and success to those new to this country. Unfortunately, it is many of these policies that prevent immigrants from fully embracing the American Dream. Conservatism is the only true path that can lead to prosperity.Connor Fiddler
Columnist

First, there is big distinction between legal immigration and illegal immigration. The process and great strides many go through in order to achieve US citizenship is insulted and spat upon by illegal immigration. Republicans strongly believe in the power that immigrants bring to this country. However, it must be done through the legal channels. It is unfortunate that federal bureaucracy has stiffened immigration, there is nothing more that this country needs than people wanting to come and build better lives for themselves. Yet, this path of unstoppable illegal immigration is hurting our nation’s integrity, and it is crucial for every country to have some knowledge about the people entering.

Whether legal or illegal, liberal policies have been hurting immigrants for generations. Many come to the United States seeking refuge from authoritarian governments or pursuing prosperity, leaving a collapsing economy. Cuban refugees, who thanks to President Obama can no longer obtain refugee status, have seen the worst of both worlds. They are constantly shocked by liberals who proclaim Che Guevara and Fidel Castro as admirable men, worthy of placement in the liberal pantheon. Many Jews are horrified by the trivialization of Adolf Hitler and the holocaust by comparing *insert any Republican* with Hitler, simply because they believe in tighter background checks.

Beyond insulting comparisons, immigrants understand the value of hard work and determination. Many of the greatest American success stories come from some of the most marginalized immigrants. The Founding Fathers guaranteed the right to pursue your own happiness knowing that not all will yield the same results, but at least you had the freedom to pursue it. Unfortunately, liberal elites have condemned the successful and have victimized those they see as not being able to help themselves. Their increasing tax hikes and growing federal regulations are only hurting those they claim to champion. The rich can pay the taxes and can accommodate for new regulations, while the newly opened Thai restaurant or local small business can barely stay afloat.

The Democratic Party is wonderful in their ignorance. Trivializing and idolizing many of the injustices in the world is an affront to everything this country should be about. The regulations and tax policies pushed by the left are running small business into the ground, while claiming the moral high ground. It is time that Americans take a hard look at the policies being offered by both parties. We need to see past the name calling and truly understand what the policies are for and what they do.

 

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