By Sam Loose | U.S.
Since the 1990s illegal immigration into the United States has more than tripled. The rise in immigration has not gone unnoticed and has caught the attention of every American, including current President Donald J. Trump, who built a great deal of attention off of his immigration policy, promising to build a “great border wall” between the United States of America and Mexico on Mexico’s dime. The previous administration was also tough on illegal immigration, deporting an upwards of 2.5 million illegal immigrants, earning former President Barrack Obama the nickname “Deporter in Chief” among critics.
But immigration is not just an issue that has caught the attention of the right side of the aisle; the left also has taken attention to the issue however, under a separate perspective arguing for open borders and lax restrictions. The American left has pushed such a narrative across several cities in the United States, creating the concept of the “sanctuary city”, a city whose law enforcement don’t hand illegal immigrants who have committed crimes over to federal immigration authorities.
Who is right? In short, neither; both extremely light or strict immigration reforms are ineffective. The only solution, in my opinion is a policy that is both firm and fair, which is why I believe in the power of temporary immigration.
I believe that too many Americans have come to believe that immigration is a black and white issue’ either migrants are granted citizenship or they are deported. However, the perfect policy lies in the center: temporary immigration in the form of visas and free cards.
The United States currently has a very stubborn immigration policy, making it hard for immigrants to enter and even harder for illegal immigrants to be deported, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The simple fact is that in recent decades illegal immigration has been on the rise, but a wall won’t solve that. All a wall will do is waste money. The truth is that the majority of illegal immigrants aren’t crossing the border, but are instead initially legally entering our country on visas and/or green cards and overstaying their visits.
If overstayed visas are the primary method of illegal immigration, however, why is it that I not only support them but want to expand them? The answer to this is simple: reform. The current temporary immigration system as a result of change during the 1990s does not allow for circular immigration. In order for a visa system to function, circular immigration, wherein migrants come to the United States on a visa, stay for a period of a few months completing their visa, return home for a few months, and repeat the process, must be legally allowed. But without the conditions necessary to create circular immigration, nations fall into the rut we are in now, where migrants know full well they will not receive a second visa and overstay their welcome, establishing an illegal residence in the United States and relying upon the American taxpayer for survival, while they themselves aren’t even able to pay taxes if they wanted to.
It does not hurt just the taxpayer; it also adds stress to the immigrants’ family and in some cases prevents them from being able to provide until they too can be smuggled in. Most importantly, though, it also takes some of the brightest minds and hardest workers away from a nation that so desperately needs them.
In summary, reform of temporary immigration is the most logical route as it is a mutually beneficial exchange with few consequences.