America has an estimated 11 million people living in the shadows as undocumented non-citizens. As a result, human lives are spent in fear; the U.S. economy stagnates; and the whole country suffers.
Today, politicians are bringing forward new ideas to reform the outdated policies that have held immigrants back from achieving legal status in America and from the privilege to live and work legally in the country that they love.
The trouble is that, for all the attention being paid to the issue at the highest national levels, few of our political leaders have explained the benefits to the average American. So many topics, policies, and issues have been discussed, proposed, and shunted aside a week later that it has become confusing for many people to know what is actually at stake for the future of the United States in terms of immigration.
To help clarify the issues, here are a few of the most critical aspects of recent immigration reform proposals you should be aware of:
- Border security. Something that both Republicans and Democrats seem to agree upon is the need for heightened security at the border. This means providing law enforcement with the resources necessary to keep out people who threaten the wellbeing of the United States, while allowing immigrants and visitors in legally.
- Streamlined legal immigration. The current process for letting people immigrate legally to the United States has no longer meets our needs in the 21st century. Now, we seek a new system to make it easier for people to immigrate to America legally.
- New paths to citizenship. Many of the immigrants who have lived in the United States for years know the history, civil law, language, and culture that define America. These people want a legal way to stop living in the shadows and instead come out to earn their citizenship fairly.
- Punishment for hiring undocumented workers. One of the problems with the current system is that many American business owners struggle to hire enough workers who are able and willing to perform job that few U.S. citizens may be able or willing to perform. Because immigration is so restricted right now, often these business owners illegally hire non-citizens. To stop this from happening, immigration reform proposals seek new ways of cracking down on business owners who break the law, as well as implementing new systems to make hiring undocumented immigrants more difficult.
Immigration reform is complicated, but the results—replacing today’s ineffective and cruel laws with updated rules to benefit both Americans and immigrants—are critical. If you or a loved one is living in the shadows, contact Francisco Hernandez, our immigration lawyer in Fort Worth, to learn how you may be able to immigrate legally to the United States and put the fear and stress behind you.