Illegal immigration is a federal crime. I know it well. I’m an immigrant myself who moved to the U.S. in 2003 from Buenos Aires, Argentina. My family got in line at the U.S. Embassy and was given a visa to come to the U.S. We did it legally.
But not everyone does it that way. There are many who cross our poorly monitored borders from Canada and Mexico. The number has dropped due to the dire economic crisis, yet the issue remains unresolved.
It’s the federal government’s fault. They keep setting the issue aside. They slacked for the last decade. They haven’t enforced the law as it is written. Title 8 of the U.S. Code states that anyone is considered an illegal alien who “enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers.” However, both of our parties failed on this issue. They haven’t lived up to what the law states.
President Obama followed the law more than Bush by deporting more illegal immigrants. In fact, Obama has deported 1.5 times more than Bush. He deported about 1.4 million illegal immigrants since the beginning of his presidency to July 2012. Yet, the current president who deported the most also skipped Congress to try to solve illegal immigration. He passed an executive order to avoid the Republican-controlled Congress.
Just take a look at what he signed. His order allows illegal immigrants to apply for a temporary permit to work legally in the U.S. and avoid deportation. This order stems from the DREAM Act, which failed to pass the U.S. Senate. As a result, about 1.7 million immigrants qualify to meet that permit. This deepens illegal immigration, since now anyone under the age of 30 that arrived to the U.S. before the age of 16 can stay in the U.S. This gives the incentive for anyone in that age group to come to the U.S. and stay for two years without any fear of deportation.
Then Democrats get mad at states like Arizona, Alabama or North Carolina for being radical in their reforms. All of these states follow a model like that of Arizona’s SB1070, which allows police enforcement to ask for documentation from anyone who is stopped first for any offense other than being suspected to be an illegal immigrant. This is the popular “show me your papers” clause that has many on the left rolling their eyes. But is this really Arizona, Alabama or North Carolina’s fault?
These states, like many others, have big issues at hand. Arizona, for example, has serious crime rates. Phoenix, Arizona is rated as the kidnapping capital in the U.S. And, yes, this is attributed to criminals who cross the border into Arizona. Not to mention the fact that many who struggle to cross the border are raped or killed in the deserts or held hostage by coyotes. But the federal government does little to address Arizona’s issues.
Alabama, like many other states, had a problem with their unemployment rate. Their government found out that many jobs were taken by illegal immigrants — shocking, right? Since the passage of the law, Alabama’s unemployment rate has decreased from 9.3 percent to 7.7 percent. Again, the federal government didn’t address Alabama’s concerns.
North Carolina has some similar concerns as well. Their unemployment rate stands at 9.4 percent. It makes sense to pass a law similar to that of Alabama and Arizona to incentivize employment. The crux of the issue is that illegal immigrants are paid much lower wages than legal workers who are required by law to be paid minimum wage. There are many businesses that take advantage of this fact and make higher profits than those who follow the law and employ legal immigrants or American citizens. But President Bush didn’t care and Obama doesn’t either; at least their policies show so.
For this very reason, states are taking actions into their own hands. The federal government should step in and follow these states’ proposals. Our government should promote legal immigration and prevent illegal immigration and not pass executive orders that act as incentive for new illegal aliens.
The U.S. is a nation of immigrants and should remain as such. But this is a country of law and it should start acting like it.