The Immigration Debate

The immigration debate has been pushed to the forefront of the US public’s attention and US policy makers since the biggest attack on the US more known as September 11. The arguments of pro and con immigration have been discussed, and points and arguments from the most feasible, to the most ridiculous have been raised and heard over and over, not only in public, through multimedia, but more so in the legislative floors both in Congress and in the Senate. II. Declaration of thesis:  Is immigration good or bad for the US economy?

The arguments and the ensuing debates focus on basically one concern. Are immigrants beneficial to the US economy or not? A more searing question was posed by David Kennedy in his article: “Can we still afford to be a nation of immigrants? ” which appeared in the highly respected journal, Atlantic Monthly (Kennedy 51). For purposes of satisfying what is possible and what is not, let us rephrase David Kennedy’s question then, as it is still very much a concern today.

Can the United States still afford to let in immigrants? The answer as presented is “Yes, we can”(Kennedy 51). The next question then is, how do we do it? III. When is it good? What are the benefits to whom and how? When is it bad? Discuss pros and cons. Give arguments for both. Before making recommendations as to how, let us present some arguments based on existing ones. First, what are the benefits of the current immigration – both legal and illegal? According to Deborah White, the proposed legislation in Congress, S.

1348 or Immigration Reform Act of 2007, provides for the legalization of approximately 12 to 15 million undocumented immigrants in the country today (White). The legislation covers all immigrants who came in either legally or illegally on or before January 1, 2007 (White). It provides for all the 12 million or so immigrants to register and pay an estimated $7,000 in fines, penalties and processing fees, and in return have a four year temporary “legitimated” Z visa, and be issued a green card.

Processing of these visas will be on top of the 8 year backlog of the INS or the Immigration and Naturalization Services Department of the US Homeland Security (White). The proposal was pushed by the Bush administration and backed by majority of the Democrats and Republicans. Some changes stipulated by the Democrats was the removal of fines and penalties as it would impede the “coming out” of the illegal immigrants into the open and may present a big stumbling block to the entire process of legalizing all undocumented immigrants and defeat the purpose of the bill (Barnes).

Unfortunately, House Majority floor leader Harry Reid apparently “deep sixed” the bill in its current form because of political reasons (Barnes) although agreements have been reached by both majorities of the Republicans and Democrats in both houses (Barnes). President Bush, however, has pledged to bring back the shelved bill “very soon” (White).