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Immigration reform cannot wait for partisanship


After the government shutdown ended, President Barack Obama has been pursuing a new part of his agenda — immigration reform.

Immigration reform is much needed in this country, and the bill being presented has qualities that would improve immigration laws.

But people on both sides of the political spectrum are turning this into a partisan issue.

House Republicans wish to debate and edit what could be more specific in the bill, but President Obama refuses to debate on it, according to an article in the Washington Post.

This shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

The bill has great qualities that would ideally work, and if specifications could further ensure its efficiency, they should be pursued.

According to CBS News, the bill makes it so those who have entered the U.S. illegally will have temporary citizenship for six years, requiring them to obtain a visa or return to the country they are from. The bill would also increase the amount of guards along the southern U.S. border.

This would create huge economic advantages.

Immigrants who have entered the country illegally would be obligated to pay taxes. They would be eligible for things such as insurance and driver’s licenses, and they would have a job selection.

According to a Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project, there are 11.7 million immigrants living in the U.S. that entered the country illegally, who cannot be denied emergency care treatment at hospitals, so their bills are paid through taxpayer-funded Medicaid.

Immigrants living in the U.S. illegally take away resources from U.S. citizens.

By making these immigrants legal citizens, there will be an increase in the number of tax payers, which would increase government revenue as well as create an increase in the number of people allowed to buy health insurance, which would decrease the number of people reliant of Medicaid, making it more beneficial to those who actually need it.

Immigration reform has the potential to be successful, but the deadline for visas must be kept and enforced, or there is no motivation to comply.

Also, the overall amount of illegal immigration must be reduced, or this could make illegal immigration more attractive than properly obtaining the correct documentation. The increased border patrol proposed in the bill will help this.

Obama is walking a tight line and if he is serious about reform, he needs to hear the Republicans out and specify this bill as much as possible to prevent loopholes.

Immigration reform isn’t about pushing a right or left political agenda but just bettering the U.S. in general.

It could increase economic standings and allow a path to citizenship for many current immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. It would also allow for those people to become beneficial members of society.

According to Fox News, 74 percent of Americans wish to see immigration reform pass this year.

Congress must put party lines aside and cooperate to create and enforce the most efficient immigration reform bill if they are truly a government for the people and have the best interest of Americans in mind.

James Baker is a freshman majoring in political science and economics.