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American Immigration Policy

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The United States is a land of immigrants, and throughout its history, it has endured inward large-scale mass movements of people, and these occurred in four peak periods: during colonial periods, expansion to the west in the 1700s, the rise of industrial cities during the early 1900s, finally during the late 1900s to date. Immigration has been a thorny issue in contemporary American politics, and with camps often sharply divided on this vital policy. America is a wealthy high per capita income country, with the good education system and health care systems, and democratic freedoms, amongst other issues that attract hordes of immigrants annually. A fine line exists between the conservatives and the liberal, with the latter group insisting that young undocumented immigrants are America’s problem while the former points to the need for their humane treatment as a special group in the country. Obviously, the current administration led by Barrack Obama is pro-left, and his administration has been steadfast in his pre-election pledge to resettle a section of the immigrants that came to the country illegally. This paper investigates immigration issues affecting the American government, particularly the cases affecting young undocumented immigrants.

Failed Promises

Merolla, Ramakrishnan, and Haynes (2013) investigated the use the terms illegal and undocumented by the two opposing political positions, and that is liberals and conservatives, on the immigrants in the media. Further, the Merolla, Ramakrishnan, and Haynes (2013) tested whether the terms had an influence on preferences for three different policies that directed legalization.

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The results from the tests indicated that the efforts that prompted a focus on the terms applied when referring to immigrants had a limited impact and that the endeavor to create a policy provides a higher promise in diverting public opinion on the hot topic of immigration.
Indeed, immigration had been a significant and controversial subject in the country, a topic that has been subjected to numerous congressional debate, as well as intense media coverage. The correct term to refer to a group of immigrant has been a problem, especially considering the two factions areas in the legislature. On the one hand, this population has been referred to as undocumented, yet, they have also been referred to as illegal.
According to Chomsky Merolla, Ramakrishnan and Haynes (2013), the current administration has been keen in developing a policy document that can tackle the issue properly. Lexington (2015) reported that a federal appeals court this year ruled against the President’s executive order to protect millions of illegal immigrants from imminent deportation. Lexington (2015) added that while the ruling was a blow to the Presidents immigration plans of resettling the undocumented immigrants in the country, Republicans celebrated the ruling, as it seems that they do not intend on sharing the country with the undocumented cases. This ruling was on a backdrop of another ruling earlier in the state of Texas where a federal court stopped Obama’s immigration program. It is expected that the immigration cases might end up in the Supreme Court, where a final decision shall be made. President Obama had unveiled an executive decision in November last year, which was crafted to shield about four million parents of citizens, as well as green card holders and about 300000 people who arrived in the country as children and meet immigration laws criteria (Hipsman and Meissner, 2013). However, early this year, a caucus of 26 states largely Republican, went to court protesting Obama’s actions, which described as a lawless move by the President to ignore the Congress and pen down own immigration laws through an executive fiat. According to Chomsky Merolla, Ramakrishnan and Haynes (2013), the Republicans states believe that the immigrants shall bring more economic burdens to their states. While the Democratic Party is leaning states, obviously siding with the president, believe that immigration issues are the prerogative of the President, and they can only be handled through executive orders. The Constitution of the United States confers the exclusive power of immigration to the country’s federal government, and hence pundits argue that the lawsuits filed by the Republican states are unrealistic. However, the Republican states such as Texas seem to be only willing to delay the plans of the current administration on immigration, so that by next year, if one of their own assumes the leadership of the country, then the immigration plans established by the current President shall be nullified. According to Gonzales (2008), removal of undocumented persons in the country can be counterproductive, as the government will use a lot of resource in relocating them to their home country. Instead, they should just be allowed to contribute to the country’s economic development.

Frequent media reports indicate that immigration could surpass every other issue and emerge as the most important item that will be debated by the 2016 presidential candidates. It is without a doubt that the largest segments of undocumented cases in the country are from the Hispanics community. Interestingly, they have a burgeoning size, Hipsman and Meissner (2013) predicts that they will number 28 million, and this will be significant in the forth-coming elections, which would prompt different candidates to appeal to them. Hipsman and Meissner (2013) reported that the last election had a fundamental change on the political mathematics of the immigration reform. More than three-quarters of the 12 million Hispanics voted in President Obama, an important margin that played a significant part in taking him to the throne. Other immigrants such as Koreans, Indians and Chinese overwhelmingly backed President Obama. However, several immigrant communities and voters then accused him of not having delivered on his pledge and that he did not push enough to win over the issue with the United States Congress. The state of Texas, a conservative state, has to champion a call for deportation of the immigrants including children. The conservatives often argue that they will take up the already limited employment opportunities available in the country. This notion is, in fact, a fallacy, as these people shall congregate to create the future of American entrepreneurship and spur a lot of innovative business in the future. Rick Perry, the Texas State Governor, defended the instate tuition for undocumented immigrants can be lauding it for its objectivity and humane consciousness that it emits. These children were brought to the country through no choice of theirs, and educational support would aid them in fostering the idea on the reason they should be in America.


According to Hipsman and Meissner (2013), the then foreign-born, both documented and an undocumented population of immigrants’ numbered 40.4 million in 2013, and this represented thirteen percent of the total population of America. Congress has always been deeply divided on immigration policies, and they did not show any drive to follow up the issue after the failures during the Bush administration (Merolla, Ramakrishnan, and Haynes, 2013). In the face of the shortcomings of the Congress, the Obama administration used his executive authority to spell out new policies and initiative, which significantly shifted the nation’s immigration policy. The most important was the June 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals system (Merolla, Ramakrishnan, and Haynes, 2013). The initiative granted work authorization to young illegal immigrants who came into the country as children, have pursued education, and have not engaged in heinous crimes and do not pose a national threat to the security of the country. Other initiatives included the 2010 action against immigration laws passed in the states of Arizona, Alabama, Utah and South Carolina.


Federal laws dictate that every individual in the country has a right to education, whether they are immigrants or not; illegal or not, education is guaranteed. Those who oppose to equal opportunity of education for undocumented immigrants have lost human consciousness and are unaware that this group has a potential to improve the economy. Obama administration has pushed for immigration policy reforms over the years; in fact, since he came into office in the year 2008, and has constantly fallen short owing to legal bottlenecks and diversionary tactics of the Republicans. It is ironical that America, a country built on the sweats of immigrants from all over the globe should deny others the chance to build a dream. It is a wealthy economy with a high education system, good health care systems, and democratic freedoms and can support the people who can make the nation even better in the future.

Gonzales, R. G. (2008). Left out but not shut down: Political activism and the undocumented
student movement. Nw. JL & Soc. Pol’y, 3, 219.
Hipsman, F., & Meissner, D. (2013 April 16). Immigration in the United States: New Economic,
Social, Political Landscapes with Legislative Reform on the Horizon. Migration Policy
Institute. Retrieved 7 December 2015 from
Lexington. (2015 May 28). The Politics of Immigration Barriers Ahead. The Economist.
Retrieved 7 December 2015 from
Merolla, J., Ramakrishnan, S. K., & Haynes, C. (2013). “Illegal,”“Undocumented,” or
“Unauthorized”: Equivalency Frames, Issue Frames, and Public Opinion on Immigration. Perspectives on Politics, 11(03), 789-807.

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