It is quite tricky to find a comprehensive definition of policy but it may be defined as a set of actions that are created with the main purpose of affecting and influencing how decisions are made. There is a distinct difference between laws and policies. The former are used to prohibit or allow actions while the latter are mostly use to guide decisions so that certain results may achieved. Policies are synonymous with government institutions but this is not the only group that can be associated with the term.
Policies re made in institutions, private organizations, a team and maybe some individuals too. (Spitzer, 1987) The Department of the Premier describes a number of stages that make up a policy cycle. They include the following • Agenda setting • Policy formulation • Decision making • Policy implementation • Policy evaluation The essay will attempt to explain what each stage of the policies involved and these will be done in relation to the US immigration policy. Agenda setting Before any other work on policy can begin, there is a need to pick out important issues.
Agenda setting involves selecting the most outstanding problems plaguing society at that moment. This means that the government or other group with vested interests in policy making needs to identify problems that require a form of intervention by policy formulators. There are a range of social, economic, political issues that will determine the items that make it to the agenda list. Most groups normally set the agenda by checking what kind of issues have gained a lot of public attention or what kind of topics are the source of hot debate.
Groups need to identify the kind of problems that have generated a lot of concern by the public or what kind of issues require the highest level of intervention by the policy makers or by government bodies. Policy makers need to careful about the kinds of triggers that may change public perception about certain issues and reason that may prompt change in a specific matter. Policy makers need to ask themselves two major questions in this section of policy analysis. First of all, what and why there are prevailing problems surrounding certain issues.
In this process, they will have to check out all the legislative, historical and current events that affects the issue governing policy making. The social and political context is normally analyzed by looking at all the key drivers in the past, the patterns or trends that are recently emerging, some of the major actors in the policy and what kind of framework will be used by the specific group. Policy makers also need to ask themselves what are the general ideas that will be involved in this policy. For instance, most of the issues put forward will have to embrace the core beliefs held by key stakeholders.
(Sowell, 1981) The first phase in the US immigration policy cycle was to identify some of the existing problems surrounding the issue. Migration was a cause for public concern because there were number of problems plaguing the country at that time. They are as follows; 1) some immigrants needed to reconcile with their families 2) some areas in the labor market lacked adequate members 3) the country needs to give humanitarian assistance especially in relation to oppressive regimes 4) the country had to embrace diversity
As it can be seen above, there are inherent political, social and economic issues that underlie the grand issues. The major economic problem was that there are some industries within the United States lacking adequate man power. Since the country cannot fulfill this need, then there is a need to look for policy guidelines in this area. (Theodore, 1964) Also, there were some social issues facing the country. The United States has always taken pride in the fact that it accords its citizens their due right and it respects the rule of law.
In an attempt top display these qualities; the government realized that there ere some countries that did not share the same sentiments. Those countries persecuted individuals who happen to belong to unwanted religions or parties. There was a need to provide guidelines on the issue of providing asylum for individuals trying to run away form such governments. Another social issue that has deeply affected the people of the Unite States is the fact that the country does not have adequate cultural diversity in certain spheres.
There are some groups that have been favored in the past thus resulting to a high influx of specific types of immigrants. Consequently, the US needed to create a balance and encourage the entrance of certain non conventional types of immigrants. This means that policy makers had to examine some of the historical migration patterns in the past in order to establish the right guidelines on this matter through immigration policy. The table below illustrates how certain numbers of immigrants exceed others and there is a need to balance them out.