When Barack Obama addressed the nation from a high school in Las Vegas on Tuesday, he stated his plans to overhaul immigration policy.
But while immigration has been a controversial issue for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, their inability to reach a compromise has left the immigration system basically unchanged for almost a decade.
There are many facets and arguments that ensnare immigration policy into such a deadlock that it becomes easy to forget that at the heart of the issue are people and families that chose, for whatever reason, to risk possible persecution to live in the U.S. While the humilityof the issue should be
unanimous, it is the logistics of it that overruns humility whenever it comes to being drafted into legislative policy.
There are facts and figures that may back up even the most conservative ideologies on the issue. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, there is an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants that they say cost American taxpayers more than $100 billion a year.
But there is equal concern that the U.S. immigration system requires thousands of dollars in fees, certifications,background checks, specific job trainings, language lessons,investment capital or any number of other qualifications in order to gain citizenship legally.
The problem is that anyone who is able to break through the red tape that stands in the way of legal citizenship has to be so financially well-off that it would not make much sense for them to leave their home country in the first place.
While the border needs to be secure and action should be taken to ensure the U.S. does not become a cesspool for drug dealers and criminals looking to evade domestic or international laws, the U.S. current stance is not helping anyone by sending the message that if they have money then they are an immigrant, but if they do not, they are an illegal alien.
The way the U.S. views immigration needs to change. But the only way immigrationcan be changed is if the way that the country views its immigrants is changed. The U.S. does not need to consider immigration reform so political parties can increase their Latino followings, but instead because it would be the humane thing to do to allow those who seek our land of opportunity to succeed.