Top 10 Solutions to Illegal Immigration in the USA
Illegal immigration has long been a problem in the U.S. Although the number of people living in the country illegally has slowed sharply during the recession, new estimates show signs of continuing rebound. According to the data released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the number of unauthorized immigrants went up from 10.8 million in 2009 to 11.4 million in 2012. Sure, the government provides legislative policies to deal with the problem, but it seems that despite its good intentions, illegal immigration remains to be a problem in America. What should the government do to finally stop illegal immigration?
The truth is there’s ‘no easy way’ to fix this long-standing issue, but there’s definitely a way or ways to solve it. Let’s examine some of our options:
10. Strengthen Border Security.
In response to the events of 9/11 and the increasing population of illegal aliens, the government of the United States has steadily increased its efforts to enhance national security over the past years. The Secure Fence Act of 2006, signed into law by George W. Bush, mandated the construction of 652 miles of fences along our Southern borders. And as of February 2012, DHS has completed 651 miles of barriers. According to DHS, the number of Border Patrol agents protecting the U.S. borders has also reached its target to more than 20,000, most of who are assigned along the Mexico-United States border. In addition, more guard posts, vehicle barriers, and technologically-advanced tools, such as drones, cameras, and sensors, have been provided to effectively monitor the boundaries. President Barrack Obama claimed that the country has now “strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible.” However, with the continuously increasing number of illegal border crossings, many believe that the nation’s security remains porous.
The Mexico-United States Border has a total length of 1,954 miles. As a solution to the never-ending illegal crossings, many people suggest for a fence covering the entire length of the boundary – which means a 1954-mile barrier. But of course, to accomplish that, it would cost America billions of dollars, not to mention the cost of maintenance, additional reinforcement, and high-tech equipment. But as what Charles Krauthammer, a political commentator and award-winning columnist, said, “It’s not complicated. Build the damn fence.”
9. Make Illegals Self-Deport.
Another solution that is being highly debated right now to reduce the number of illegal immigrants is to deport them. According to Joe Guzzardi, an English teacher in California, deportation is as easy as one, two, three. First, you go where illegal immigrants are; second, you arrest them; and third, you deport them. There’s no need for mass deportations. Just like what Guzzardi said, you just arrest one or two illegals every day, and eventually, the message will get out.
However, with more than 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the U.S., removing them just like that from the country still seems to be impossible and impractical. Plus, the government has no strict penalty for being an illegal. If you deport them, they just keep coming back. So here’s an alternate idea – make illegals self-deport. The concept was actually introduced by Mitt Romney, which means you make life for illegal immigrants harder and unbearable that they will leave the country VOLUNTARILY. It’s one of the most talked about issues in America today, and many are in complete support about this proposed solution as they believe that it’s the answer to reducing the number of illegals, who have entered and are entering the country.
There are many different ways to do this, such as putting firewalls to computer systems that prohibit people with unverified status from accessing them, or asking for a proof of citizenship before receiving health treatment, or simply implementing tougher employment terms since they come here to get jobs in the first place.
Yes, if you want to see millions of illegal immigrants out of the country immediately, then make life as difficult as possible for them to live in here.
8. Implement A Better Job Program.
Contrary to the above solution, one other way to reduce the number of illegal immigrants is to create a new or better job program. Many people believe that the United States is the land of opportunities – better job, better education, better life. And that’s the reason why so many people are migrating in the country. In fact, many of them even risk their lives just to get in here and make a living to support themselves and their families.
As we all know, there are millions of illegal immigrants in the country looking for better employment and opportunities, and with the different solutions that most debaters propose in order to stop this problem, we rarely hear about job-related proposals. Debates on the subject always center about amnesty, enforcement immigration laws, and border security. We forget to realize that the main reason why these people flock here is because of job. And isn’t it just fair to give these people a chance whose the only reason for illegally entering the country is to have a better life for themselves and their families?
So rather than spending funds for hiring more patrol borders and wasting time in proposing impractical illegal immigration solutions, why not create a much more effective job program that will open opportunities to non-U.S. workers, so they would no longer have to enter the U.S. territory illegally?
7. Improve Work Visa Program.
America is the home of immigrants, but the entry system of the country is broken that’s why many illegals could enter. Not all illegal immigrants sneak or swim across the border. As many as half of them arrive with legal documents, including passport and visa, that permit them to enter the U.S. territory. When their visa expires, they simply not leave the country and become illegal aliens.
That’s one of the dirty strategies that half of the illegal immigrants are doing for several decades now – and that’s actually easy for them to do because the government doesn’t have strict rules when it comes to tracking down people who overstay in the country, and if they do, I don’t think the rules are strict enough. If so, why there are millions of people in the U.S., who overstay their visas?
If you go to the U.S. and choose to stay even when your visa expires, chances are the government would have no idea that you’re still in its territory. In fact, even your neighbor wouldn’t know that you’re overstaying, especially if you act normal as others.
The government should implement a better system that will effectively track down people who overstay their visas. Even if it means spending more funds and hiring more people, the government should push it in order to stop illegal immigration. Another solution is to implement much more strict immigration rules, including interviews, background checks, verification of employment, etc. Unless the government and other responsible agencies start to implement better visa programs, it would be hard or worse, impossible for us to eliminate this illegal immigration problem.
6. Authorize The Use Of Armed Forces On The Border.
The number of illegal immigrants in the United States is massive and currently out-of-control. Despite the large number of National Guard troops sent by Bush and Obama on the southern and northern borders, the population of 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country is continuously growing – (at least about 700, 000 per year). Although the purpose for this deployment is to better protect our borders, it is seemingly quite ineffective to prevent illegal crossings.
Because of this, many concerned individuals are urging the use of military to effectively secure our borders. The construction of 1954-mile barrier is meaningless if it is not monitored properly because illegal immigrants will always find a way to trespass. And let’s all remember that not all illegal immigrants come here just because of job. Some of them come here to become part of drug trafficking, document fraud, and other criminal activities. The use of armed forces is not only to protect our borders, but also reduce the growing number of these illegal activities. While the use of armed forces may increase the possibility of violence, it will also create an effective deterrent to anyone wanting to illegally cross our borders.
5. Authorize The Use Of Volunteer Civilian Groups.
It’s true that despite the enormous effort of the government to stop illegal immigration, it is still easy to get into the U.S. territory. Every day, thousands of people illegally cross the southern and northern borders. While most of them are entering simply because of the search of a better life, their actions adversely affect the lives of others. Farmers and ranchers, who live along the borders, suffer daily due to illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants destroy fences and gates, leave massive amount of trash, vandalize properties, steal livestock, and damage water pipes. There are even instances that they kidnap innocent victims for ransom. Almost daily, ranch owners have to deal with these problems, which make their lives in the field really hard.
This is the very reason why various civilian groups have emerged to try and solve this issue where the federal authorities have effectively failed. And these civilian patrol groups are uniting to fight against this never-ending illegal entry.
While civilian patrol groups are not legally authorized to conduct their activities, many concerned citizens support their action to increase our borders’ security. According to law, we, as citizens, have the right to defend ourselves, protect our properties, and make an arrest in case of breaches of the peace. And as what Jim Gilchrist, a retired accountant and decorated Vietnam War veteran who is helping recruit Minutemen across the country, said, “I felt the only way to get something done was to do it yourself.”
4. Strengthen Interior Enforcement.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1996 added the 287(g) provision that provides authority for state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate, detain, and arrest illegal aliens. However, it’s a completely voluntary program that only encourages state and local law officials to participate if they want to be involved in immigration enforcement. Since the program began, only about 1,300 police officers have been trained by ICE.
As we all know, there are millions of illegal immigrants currently residing in the U.S. today; and with having only 5,000 active agents, who are enforcing immigration laws in the interior of our territory, it is really impossible to eliminate them all.
Perhaps, one way to finally stop illegal immigration is to pressure the government to fully enforce immigration laws and expand the 287(g) program by obligating state and local law enforcement entities to enter into a partnership agreement with ICE – because the truth is, we need state and local police badly.
3. Mandate E-Verify.
We already have an effective system in place that prevents illegals from obtaining employment in the U.S. illegally – and this is called E-verify. It is an internet-based program that is operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA). E-verify helps employers determine if the employee is eligible to work in the country by comparing the information from the employee’s I-9 to data from U.S. government records. It is an effective system; however, not everyone is using it.
The use of E-verify is not mandatory in all states. Instead, companies are only encouraged to participate voluntarily. Since the introduction of the program, more than 500,000 E-verify users across the U.S. are now using it. While this figure is not small, a lot of people still think that it is not enough to stop the undocumented immigrants from entering the U.S. soil.
Many believe that one of the answers to stop this issue is to eliminate the reason why these illegals come here in the first place – and that’s employment. If the government will require all employers to use E-verify, illegal immigrants will get a difficult time finding a job. And once they have no jobs, they will not have anything to support themselves and their families, and thus, eventually force them to leave the country.
Of course, those employers who will not follow the rules must also be given tough criminal penalties to make this solution more effective. Sometimes, greedy employers are the reasons why there are illegal immigrants in the country. They hire them for cheap labor, that’s why they keep on coming back. If the government will implement laws that will mandate all employers to use E-verify and punish greedy employers by hiring illegal workers, our problem with illegal immigration will get solved. It’s simple: If they cannot get jobs, they will self-deport back to their home.
2. Eliminate Illegal Immigration Rewards.
The continuing practice of hiring illegal workers, granting automatic citizenship to babies of illegal aliens born within our borders, and providing public benefits to them, have become as what they say “a magnet” of illegal immigration. They come here and remain here in large numbers because they believe that it is the place of opportunities. In a way, we can’t blame them. With all the benefits we provide, we’re giving them vindication that what they believe is true – that America is the land of milk and honey.
If the government wants to really put an end to illegal immigration, then it should put an end to that practice – never provide illegal immigration rewards. We already know that illegal immigrants come here because of the so many rights and privileges we provide them. If we eliminate those benefits, together with strengthening our interior security, fewer illegals will enter the territory and more will even leave voluntarily.
1. Legalize Them.
One issue that has been at the center of debates for several years now is the legalization of illegal immigrants. Recently, President Obama made an announcement about allowing almost half of the 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States remain in the country, provided, of course, they pass a criminal background check and pay taxes. As expected, not everybody agrees with the president’s decision. Many believe that it will only make the problem much worse, as it creates a motivation for illegal aliens to enter the country.
But instead of questioning this solution, why don’t we look at the bright side of it? While this may be contradictory to some of the solutions mentioned above, it could be a potential solution. Immigration benefits our country a lot. It creates more jobs, opens more opportunities, generates more economic revenue, makes the country more productive, makes our economy more flexible, and offers a mix of cultural benefits. So why not give these illegal immigrants a chance to live out of the shadow and have a better future? Legalization would allow these people to contribute in our economy through increased work force, additional taxes, and additional investments.
As mentioned, there’s no easy way to solve this problem, but we have to do something to finally end this. Those that are mentioned above are only a few of the proposed solutions that could end our problem about illegal immigration, and there’s a lot more out there that could potentially fix it. All that we have to do is make a move. Unless we do something, the problem will not go away. For more information about President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) Executive order click here!