Monday, June 17, 2013

Capitalism, Society and USA Immigration Reform 2013

Abstract Immigration into the United States of America has often time been described as both a blessing and curse for this nation that is also described as the “nation of immigrants” or “land of opportunity”. These references to America are currently confronted with the phenomenon of globalization which has in turn increased the ease at which both migration and terrorist attacks may be meted out in America. In addition to this, migration into America-whether legal or illegal- have repercussions for the American economic system of capitalism as well as the social institutions of America. It is therefore important that the policy makers in America be bale to differentiate the real problems if immigration from the imaginary ones so as to formulate strategies that will effectively respond to the issue. The election of President Obama as the American President in 2008 witnessed a transformation in the debates about immigrants in America. This paper will offer a brief description of immigration and its effects on American capitalism before analyzing the Immigration Reform 2013 in detail. 1.0 Introduction The issue of Immigration has always been the focus of controversy particularly in economic and political debates. It is estimated that there are amore than 10,000,000 undocumented migrants currently living in the United States of America. More over, the population of immigrants in America is believed to increase by an estimated 700,000 persons every year. Austin (2013) claims that in the American Presidential elections that were held in 2012 10% of the voters were of Hispanic origin. The controversy surrounding immigration into the United States of America is as a result of immigration being both advantageous and disadvantageous for the American nation. The benefit of immigration to the nation of America is the fact that it enriches the culture and civilization of the US through the composition of hardworking and talented people from different parts of the world. More over, the immigration phenomenon has been very instrumental in equipping the financial systems of American with adequate labor and human resource required to fill in the different economic positions in the nation. The presence of illegal immigrants in the US presents the American nation with a myriad of challenges for instance in sectors such as the economy, security and the American social institutions. For several years, leaders in America have attempted to formulate immigration reforms that will respond to the immigration dilemma in the US. 2.0 Obama Immigration Policy Rodriguez (2013) claims that during President Reagan’s rule in the year 1986, the government unsuccessfully attempted to create effective immigration policies. In the year 1990, the Congress assigned the Commission of Immigration Reform with the responsibility of looking into the American policies and laws regarding the issue for purposes of offering recommendations that would be effective in dealing with the issue. This commission was later dissolved in the year 1997. In the year 2001 President George W. Bush, the then American president also attempted to come up with sustainable reforms in the immigration polices of America but he encountered several challenges and set backs which made it difficult to carry out a successful immigration reform process. According to Bernstein (2012) an estimated 71% of the Latinos in the United States of America –an estimated 12.5 million people- voted for President Obama during his second term elections. In return President Obama gave his word that his government would make it a priority to carry out reforms in the American immigration policy. As promised, President Obama is said to have began pushing for the Immigration Reform 2013. These reforms are expected to establish frameworks through which an estimated 11 million illegal migrants in the US will acquire citizenship (Bernstein, 2012). In addition to this, Salamanca (2013) claims that if Obama’s immigration reform policy succeeds, immigrants will be safeguarded from any attempts to deport them by being allowed temporary four year visas in America so as to give them ample time to acquire legal citizenship, More over, Bernstein (2012) claims that the undocumented migrants will also have the opportunity to request for permanent Green Cards after 8 years. The implementation of the Obama Immigration Reform 2013 will also require that increased the budgetary allocations for security are increased so more security officers are deployed to guard the American borders from illegal activities. It is noteworthy that an estimated 1.4 million persons have been deported from America since President Obama was first elected into office in the year 2008. A number of senators, from both the Republican and Democratic groups, have engaged in deliberations aimed at the formulation of an effective and sustainable immigration policy in America. According to Rodriguez (2013), in addition to the Obama policy of immigration reform, the bi-partisan senators commonly referred to as the “gang of 8” have in the year 2013 also come up with their own comprehensive reform plan. In this policy the leader of the bi-partisan group- Senator Marco Rubio- claims that for the immigrants to attain probationary status in the US they have to pay taxes, fines and be exposed to a background investigation, More over, until they acquire citizenship, they will not be allowed to benefit from federal public provisions. In addition, the undocumented migrants would have to wait their turn in the list of millions of green card applicants in America. It is not just the American politicians who feel the need for a reconstruction of the American immigration policies. Bernstein (2012) claims that a number of Latino leaders in the US from organizations such as the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the International Secretary-Treasurer of the Services Employees International Union (SEIU) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) have issued statements in which they demand thorough reforms in the immigration policies of America (Bernstein, 2012). “Comprehensive” immigration reforms are described as those which allow undocumented or illegal migrants to engage in a process aimed at ensuring their acquire citizenship as well as the establishment of visa programs for migrants regardless of whether they are highly skilled, low skilled or seasonal laborers. 3.0 Immigration and Capitalism Schulz (2013) posits that it has often time been argued that the presence of so many immigrant in the US is a great challenge for the American economy. Nevertheless, a great number of experts disagree and state that the major challenge posed by immigration is not to the financial systems of the nation but rather to its national security. Presently, an estimated 12% of the American population is comprised of Americans of foreign origins; this is one of the greatest numbers in the last few decades. The American financial systems have however not declined but rather remain very stable with an increased gross Domestic Product and a higher GDP for every American. In addition to this, there has been a decline in the number of jobless Americans and the laborers in different segments of the America economy presently are more productive. As a matter of fact, Kane and Johnson (2006) quote Stephen Moore’s article in the Wall Street Journal and claim that “The increase in the immigration flow has corresponded with steady and substantial reductions in unemployment from 7.3 percent to 5.1 percent over the past two decades. And the unemployment rates have fallen by 6 percentage points for blacks and 3.5 percentage points for Latinos” (Kane and Johnson, 2006). It is probably for this reason that according to Cohen (2013), a great number of American entrepreneurs such as Erick Schmidt of Google and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg claim that the controls on immigration should be eased and that the American Congress ought to welcome young business executives and talented entrepreneurs into America. In addition to this, the 2005 Economic Report of the President which was a cost-benefit economic analysis of the presence of immigrants in the US indicated that the immigrants, particularly those who are educated in disciplines such as science and information technology play a very significant role in support of the American economy. This report revealed that contrary to common belief, immigrants do not hurt the economy of America since the rates of joblessness amongst the immigrants are actually lower then the American national average. More over, the immigrants positively affect the net fiscal in the US by increasing the American tax revenues by an estimated $88,000 more than thy use in services. Kane and Johnson (2006) claim that the report further indicated that immigrant laborers have increased the funding of America by a surplus estimated at $463 billion. 4.0 Response to Immigration Issue in America For several decades now, the US has been ambushed by illegal migrants who are smuggled into the country. As a matter of fact the illegal immigration problem in the US has become so serious it is alarming. Illegal immigration is described as the unlawful immigration across the borders of the American nation which infringes upon the legal decrees of nationality and immigration into the US. The illegal migrants into the US, a majority of who are from Mexico, use a variety of means to get into America. The most common methods include identity theft, crossing borders into America unlawfully, and continued stay in America even after the expiry of visas as well as drug smuggling. As already indicated, for the last two decades the different governments that have been in power in America had come up with a number of strategies to respond to the immigration issue. Lee (2013) claims that in his inauguration to second term in office early in the year President Obama stated that "Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity--until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country”. This implies that the Obama government will not rest until the immigration issue in America is resolved. 5.0 Conclusion Immigration into the United States of America has often time been described as both a blessing and curse. This paper has discussed in detail the issue of immigration in America as well as the implications such immigration has on society. The controversy surrounding the impacts of immigrants on the American economic systems has also been disambiguated. For several decades now, the US has been ambushed by illegal migrants who are smuggled into the country. The Obama reforms are expected to establish frameworks for an estimated 11 million illegal migrants in the US will acquire citizenship. In addition to this, if Obama’s immigration reform policy succeeds, immigrants will be safeguarded from any attempts to deport them by being allowed temporary four year visas in America so as to give them ample time to acquire legal citizenship. It is therefore important that the American government quickly comes with a comprehensive immigration policy that will not only eliminate the challenges caused by illegal migrants but also ensure that America benefits maximally from the presence of migrants in the nation. 6.0 Future Studies Future studies should focus, not just on the political perspectives of the immigration policy debate, but also on the legal implications that this process entail. Investigations should also be conducted on the possibility of a collaborative effort by the American and Mexican governments in the creation of a comprehensive immigration policy. 7.0 References Austin, E. G., (2013), Coming to the Table: Democracy in America-American Politics, 18th January, 18th January, The Economist Bernstein, J. Z., (2012), Immigration Reform: Obama to Make Major Push in 2013, http://www.policymic.com/articles/21399/immigration-reform-obama-to-make-major-push-in-2013 [Accessed on 6th March 2013] Cohen, N., (2013), Beware of the Lure of Mark Zuckerberg’s Cool Capitalism, 31st March, The Guardian-The Observer Kane, T. and Johnson, K. A., (2006), The Real Problem with Immigration…. And the Real Solution, The Heritage Foundation: Leadership for America Lee, B., (2013), The US Immigration Debate: renewing America, Council on Foreign Relations Rodriguez, E., (2013), Immigration Reform 2013: Is this the Best Time, Eco Latino Salamanca, J-P., (2013), Immigration Reform 2013 : Immigrants React to Obama Bill, White House Backs Away after GOP Reaction, 19th February, Latinos Post Schulz, N., (2013), Immigration Reform and the US Labor Market, 1st February, The American Enterprise Institute