Immigration Policy in the U.S

ImmigrationPolicy in the U.S

ImmigrationPolicy in U.S

Withmore than 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States,the issue of immigration has continued to be divisive in the Americansociety more than any other time in history. Proponents of illegalimmigration contend that it confers immense benefits to the U.Seconomy through expansion of a pool of low-cost labor, additional taxrevenue and amplified money circulation (Marshall, 2009). They viethat immigrants bring fine values, perform tasks that Americanscannot take, have impetus in line with the American dream and thatopponents of immigration is pegged on racist thoughts. On the otherhand, Critics vie that individuals who illegally cross the UnitedStates border and those that overstay their visas ought to bedeported and not rewarded with an alleyway to citizenship unlimitedaccess to social services. They assert that individuals in the U.Sillegally are criminals and economic and social burden tolaw-abiding, taxpaying American citizens (Marshall, 2009). This pieceof work will exemplify the controversy behind the immigration debate,with special reference to federal and states government actions inthe process of policy development and implementation.

Sourceof Controversy

Immigrationhas for many years been controversial issue in the U.S. Majority ofAmericans want the federal government augment its effort to thwartthe many illegal immigrants especially Mexicans from entering theAmerica through the border in the South (Milner &amp Tingley, 2014).The continued failure of Congress to devise and Federal Government toimplement a sound and sustainable immigration policy poses asignificant threat to the U.S economy, imposes a major securitythreat to the Americans and significantly jeopardizes its diplomacy.The U.S continue to mishandle the immigration policy and the AmericanSociety has been angered by the peril that this fronts to thefundamental underpinnings that are the vital cog that maintainAmerican prosperity and security (Marshall, 2009). United StatesImmigration policy asserts that Americans has yielded innumerablebenefits from opening its doors to immigrants. In the same vein, itwarns that the continued incapacity of the country to develop andimplement a functional system of immigration policies threatens toundermine progress and achievement made by America.

Theissue of immigration policies has sparked controversy among variousstakeholders who are affected in one way or another and who want theissue of illegal immigration brought to a definite end. Immigrationpolicy debate has divide the federal and state government, sparkedheated reaction from Senate and Congress and increased the riftbetween supporters and opposers of the major policy overhaul thatPresident Obama has sought to introduce to solve the immigrationconundrum ( Ehrenfreund, 2014). Many people blame the illegalimmigrants and other undocumented individuals for the economic woesthat face the country. In reaction to the massive public uproar, thefederal government has gotten stringent on illegal immigration. Inthis regards many undocumented individuals, most of whom are Mexicansare on the verge of being deported back to their mother country(Milner &amp Tingley, 2014). Nonetheless, it has some to theknowledge of the agencies linked to the immigration that many that asizeable number of the undocumented immigrants are children or weretoo young for that matter when their parents brought them into theUnited States. The most recent key immigration reform was theImmigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 which was a total failure.From the time that the Act was enacted the number of illegalimmigrant into the United States has considerably and at the momentmore than 7 million provide labor in the American economy (TheLeadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, 2015).

Illegalimmigration has the benefit of being more receptive to employersearching for cheap labor, but has the demerit of being past thereach of immigration and labor laws, dismal wages and deplorableworking conditions and subjecting workers to exploitation, graveperils and uncertain future. In addition, illegal immigration isunfair to other immigrants who are waiting for many years to getlegal permission to enter into United States (Milner &amp Tingley,2014). Unauthorized immigration undermines the legal principles thatguide Americans and strengthens the belief that the federalgovernment is incapable to solve crucial national problems. It isapparent that the immigration policy in the United States has beenframed in such a way that if mainly focuses on the employment aspectsof the illegal immigration. While many Americans have been supportingreunification of families, many are opposed to the idea to grantingthe 12 million illegal immigrants American citizenship (Parlapiano,2014).

NewImmigration Policy

Thedevelopment Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act popularly knownas the ‘Dream Act’ though not yet passed shall allow particulargroups of undocumented immigrants to get American citizenship (Reichard, 2015). This Act is meant to help individuals who enteredthe country at a tender age and have been socialized into theAmerican society. In the absence of a lucid and coherent legalframework to address the problem of immigration in American and lackof willingness by Congress to pass legislations to reform theimmigration policy, President Barrack Obama has exercised executiveaction to offer relief to millions of immigrants from deportation.Obama has sought to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood ArrivalsProgram, refinement of enforcement priorities to condense the pool ofthose individuals subject to deportation and extension of deferredaction to new population ( Ehrenfreund, 2014). One piece of theexecutive order was meant to permit parents of children who areAmericans citizens or those that are legal residents to acquire legalwork documents.

ThePresidents move if it comes into force shall significantly expandopportunities for legal immigrants who possess expertise inparticular fields. Obama is also seeking to advance more securitypersonnel towards the Southern border that has been the gateway toillegal immigrant, offer a succinct guidance to all the governmentagencies that implement immigration policies about which groups ofindividuals should be a low priority for deportation, especially inregards to family unification and individuals with no criminal record(Parlapiano, 2014).

Federaland State Government Standoff

Asmentioned above Obama immigration plan has sparked massive outburstfrom Republicans and state governors who are vehemently opposed toit. Republicans have slammed the executed order as excessiveapplication of executive authority and an enormous presidential powergrabs. Majority of the Democrat have supported the president citingAmericans are tired of waiting for government to act with a Congressthat is not ready and willing to solve the immigration debacle (Reichard, 2015). In the past Republicans have refused to vote ongovernment sponsored bill to fix the dysfunctional immigration systemin the U.S. The Presidents action has compounded the already tenserelationship between democrats and republicans regarding immigrationpolicies in the U.S. It has been evident that the executive order byPresident Obama has shattered the slim hope of cooperation that hadremained with Republicans, in a Congress that is under their control(Parlapiano, 2014).

InDecember 2014, 25 states filed a petition in court seeking tochallenge President Obama’s executive order that is meant to deferdeportation of millions of immigrants who in the U.S illegally(Parlapiano, 2014). The 25 states which include Nebraska, North andSouth Carolina, Oklahoma, Kansa, Mississippi and Florida filed a30-page petition alleging that Obama is skirting the constitutionalby failing to follow the proper way( Ehrenfreund, 2014). This wasamid the finding that the healthcare, law enforcement and educationfor the protected immigrants would cost the states colossal sums ofdollars. The state sought for an injunction to the President’s newimmigration policy. While waiting for the court ruling Republicansopposed to the new immigration policy have been countering Obama’sdecision by blocking funding to the U.S Department of HomelandSecurity. Nonetheless, the new immigration policy has been foughtbetween Democrats and Republicans and state and federal government tonearly a draw, with Democrats in the Senate filibustering and theWhite House assuring a veto ( Reichard, 2015).

Criticsof Obama’s executive plan have stated that the President hasoutlined his immigration stance in term of tradition, with a poignantappeal. For example West Virginia General has been quoted saying thatopposition to the Obama plan is not only about having in place aneffective immigration policy in the U.S but it all about theConstitution and the rule of law ( Ehrenfreund, 2014). ManyRepublicans have also aired similar sentiments claiming thatopposition to the new immigration policy is meant to restraint onexecutive power and maintain the separation of powers among the threearms of government as stated in the American Constitution usrespected. It cannot be lost to the ordinary Americans thatimmigration policy controversy is far from being settled, bearing inmind that Congress is strongly under the control of Republicans andin the recent days a federal judge in Texas has halted thepresident’s executive actions meant to shelter at least 4 millionimmigrants from expatriation (Milner &amp Tingley, 2014).

Governorsfrom the 25 states that are opposed to the Obama plan have statedthat even though previous presidents from both divides have takenexecutive orders, and that Congress has refused to pass a bill toredress the immigration conundrum, it does not mean that Obama shouldignore Congress (Parlapiano, 2014). The migration policy Institutehas stated that immigration should be a matter of pragmatism. Thisinference is pegged on the precept that government does not possessadequate resources to deport all the illegal immigrants in thecountry, who at the moment are more than 1 million. The Institute hasrecommended that the criteria for identifying who should be targetedfor deportation. It is apparent that the individuals that PresidentObama plans to shield from deportation have never been high on thepriority list (The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights,2015). Additionally there have been concerns that the Obama’s plandoes not subsume the deterrent effect of the law and in actual senseit shall encourage more illegal border crossing. White House hasmaintained that the state governments have no grounds to sue. Afterall the Supreme Court passed a verdict that immigration and bordersare concerns under the arm of the federal government. Nonetheless,the tradeoff is that Congress being the house where people’srepresentatives seat and as such they must be drawn in thedevelopment of policy and making laws that shapes the life of allAmericans.

Costof Policy Implementation

Inexecuting the new immigration policy, the federal government shallincur costs relating to welfare benefits, Medicaid and cost ofdeporting those that do not fall under the umbrella of the executiveorder. Whilst the Justice Department has claimed that states are justopposing the executive order for political reasons, the recentinjunction passed by a federal judge in Texas on the executive orderhas dealt a toll blow and significantly reduced the momentum andprogress of the addressing the immigration menace ( Reichard, 2015).The injunctions have also increased doubt among Americans about theauthority of the President to solve the immigration dilemma. Albeitthis is not the first case in point when a judge has ruled Obamaexecutive order on immigration as unconstitutional-December 204federal district judge in Pittsburgh had termed the executive plan asunconstitutional- it remained to be seen what step White House willtake to support it immigration policy program ( Reichard, 2015).


Immigrationhas been a thorny issue in the American political arena, an aspectthat has been aggravated by the fact that Congress has failed to passan Act that would put the immigration issue to rest. President Obamahas applied his executive power to execute a plan that seeks toshield different categories of immigrants from deportation. Theprogram aims to expand 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival(DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). Bothprograms were meant to kickstart of February and May 2015respectively but with the new injunction, neither can move forwarduntil the date that the order shall be reversed. Majority ofAmericans want the federal government augment its effort to thwartthe many illegal immigrants especially Mexicans from entering theAmerica through the border in the South. It cannot be lost to theordinary Americans that immigration policy controversy is far frombeing settled, bearing in mind that Congress is strongly under thecontrol of Republicans and in the recent days a federal judge inTexas has halted the president’s executive actions it is difficultto fathom which direction the immigration debate will take.


Ehrenfreund,M.(2014, November20). Yourcomplete guide to Obama’s immigration executive action. TheWashington Post.Retrieved on 14 Feb, 2015 from: Office. (2015, January 15). HowChanges in Immigration Policy Would Affect the Federal Budget .Retrieved from:

HelenV. Milner and Dustin Tingley(2014). TheEconomic and Political Influences on Different Dimensions of UnitedStates.Retrieved from:

Marshall,R. (2009). Immigrationfor Shared Prosperity. AFramework for Comprehensive&nbspReform.Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved on 14 Feb, 2015, from:

Parlapiano,A. (2014, November 20). What Is President Obama’s ImmigrationPlan?. The NewYork Times.Retrieved 14 Feb, 2015, from:

&nbspReichard,M. ( 2015, January 15). States, White House do battle overimmigration action. WorldNews Group.Retrieved on Feb 15, 2015 from:

TheLeadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.(2015).WhyYou Should Care About Immigration.Retrieved on 13 feb, 2015 from:

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