What is “Immigration Reform?”

Immigration is always a hot topic in law and politics. But what exactly is “Immigration Reform” and how can it affect you?

The immigration debate is one that stems from whether the financial aspect is a bigger problem for our country than the humanitarian one.

On the one hand, the financial aspect of the immigration problem leads many people to feel strongly about the need for stricter immigration laws.  We hear the same concerns over and over -undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes, but create a tax burden for the U.S. citizens and residents who do pay taxes; they abuse the system while not contributing to it in any way.  These concerns are real and have a solid foundation.

On the other hand, however, the immigration problem is a humanitarian one.  With over 50,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally this year alone, can we really turn them away as they flee from their poverty stricken, crime ridden and corrupted countries without violating our own humanitarian laws and beliefs?

Immigration reform addresses just that debate – how can we accommodate the very real financial concerns arising from lenient immigration laws and at the same time comply with our own humanitarian laws and beliefs.

Immigration reform is a political term used to increase legal immigration while decreasing illegal immigration by writing new legislature. In theory, immigration reform could help the U.S. in many ways, while helping the undocumented aliens who enter this country every year.  For one, creating laws which allow the undocumented aliens who are already in this country to remain will boost the economy substantially.  The undocumented aliens will receive higher wages if they are legal residents, which will make them more likely to contribute to spending, and will enforce paying taxes.  It will also cut down on the costs of policing the undocumented immigrants.  The flipside however, is that by creating laws which allow those who have already entered the country, to remain in the country, will invite more and more people to enter illegally with the hopes of staying.  And, although the U.S. is willing to help, our resources are not endless and we cannot accommodate each and every person who is seeking refuge.

The current bill that is going to the House of Representatives proposes laws which will allow illegal immigrants to receive legal residency, after those who entered the country legally, and contingent upon certain security clearance.  It also allows for an easier business and low-skilled worker visa processes.  On its face, it appears that these regulations will be helpful to all aspects and concerns of immigration.