Point for discussion
Immigration is a topic of much discussion. It’s an American issue, rather than a political one. The daily debates, and the decisions that will be made, affect everyone – Dreamers, non-Dreamers, and American citizens. Logical solutions are possible, if we simply step back and think about it.
Our Points of View
If we think about immigration from a “people first” perspective, the goal is clear. People that have come to America, whether as children or as adults, are looking for a better life for themselves and their families, and people who are American citizens want to live their best lives.
I am concerned when I see someone who has been here for decades, who has contributed to society through community, job creation, taxes (at least partially), and in other ways, who is deported essentially because he or she was not born in the U.S.
To me, it’s very clear what we should do:
Prior policies should be honored for those here in the U.S., and new policies should be implemented to improve upon the future of immigration, and affect those coming to the U.S. going forward.
- For those who are here, many of whom are working and contributing to society – grant a path to citizenship, and require it be pursued within a planned timeline.
- Develop the new legislation for those not yet here, and make the requirements clear to qualify (e.g., a stated plan of job they will pursue or job waiting for them, no criminal record, etc.). Individuals must earn the right to come to the U.S.; it shouldn’t be a given.
And, if we collect taxes on earnings from all those here and coming to the U.S., even during their path to citizenship, we can boost revenue to fund immigration-related support functions. No one should have to hide, and everyone should pay taxes (even if low – all should be invested.)
As I listen to all of the debate, I can’t help but think back to the earliest days of our great nation. Let’s be clear, Native Americans were here before all of us. For the rest of us, our ancestors came to America for very practical reasons – to escape persecution and seek freedoms and opportunities they felt could not be achieved in their birth nations. Today’s immigrants are no different. What is different, is the manner in which they arrive in the United States. Granted, legal immigration would be easier for everyone involved, but for many of the immigrants brought here as children, this is not an option.
For these Dreamers, it seems that there could be a logical approach to allow them to become citizens or achieve legal status. Perhaps a fee to be paid with an application that could fund the vetting process for these individuals would be a good start. And they should all be vetted. Then a path to citizenship should not be unreasonably withheld. Parameters and criteria for a new process to be implemented going forward should be established. All of this seems reasonable and doable.
But we need to stop forcing people to live under the daily threat of deportation. The heavy weight of uncertainty from day to day is more than anyone should have to deal with. Let’s settle this issue once and for all.
Our Question for you:
What is the one, most important thing that you believe should be done to address the immigration issue?