Issue As it stands now, the House bill is far from a positive direction for immigration reform. It would wall off the nation’s southern border and turn all illegal immigrants into felons. It would also treat anyone who helped illegal immigrants or hired them as felons. Th is simply is not realistic comprehensive reform. In all of this debate it seems the issue of human rights and humanitarianism has been lost or forgotten. As Americans, we are a country inherently composed of immigrants. It is part of our history to fi nd a better, more encompassing means of reform to an issue that directly aff ects millions of Americans and immigrants who have made this their home and expanded their families here.
Last week, the Senate continued to hash out the controversial House bill on immigration law reform that has spurred protests across the nation since the bill initially came out of the House. Th is week the Senate and House are on a break and were unable to come to an agreement on amendments to the House bill beforehand. Th us, the White House and President Bush are being increasingly pressured to weigh in on how to compromise this issue of immigration reform before the Senate reconvenes next week.
During this time, President Bush and his Administration are being pressured to weigh-in on the debate over immigration reform that bounces between sealing the nation’s borders wile legalizing the illegal work force already here without granting what opponents are calling “amnesty.” Amnesty, which would mean granting an illegal immigrant immediate citizenship, is a word that has been thrown around often during immigration debate. Th e Senate has tried to quell worries over amnesty by ensuring that the bill would put aliens on a pathway to citizenship, in which they would be at the back of the green card line. However, it is on this pathway that the Senate cannot agree; voiced between Republican Senate Majority leader Bill Frist and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.
Since his beginning, President Bush has supported immigrants in a guest-worker capacity, noting that immigrant workers from Mexico and Latin America are an integral part of our economy and workforce, a fact that is undeniable. On the other hand it is that very population that can cause problems for border communities, for example, these immigrant workers do not have insurance which thus causes problems for the community.
In many such communities, emotions are very much divided because while these immigrants make up a vital percentage of the workforce, and often in areas that Americans in general do not want to work, they also contribute in overwhelming public services, without paying the taxes to contribute to them. It is emotions like this, coupled with super conservatives on reform, that have lead to the creation of proposed reform like this House bill.