Senator Orrin Hatch issued a list of high priorities including a priority to reform the immigration policy for high-skilled workers.He denounced President Obama’s executive order on immigration because it doesn’t offer any legal remedy for those who are here illegally. It doesn’t provide them with a guarantee of amnesty from deportation.
The Senator said that the Republican Party should enact legislation to secure the border, verify legal workers with an authorization check, and check for expired visas. The legislature should then consider if the system favors attenuated family members over trained professionals.
Whenever illegal immigration is considered, four main points are debated. They are that crime on the street will increase, unemployment will increase, social services will cost more, and the economy will slow down.
When crime on the street is considered, the Department of Homeland Security estimated immigrants accounted for 20 percent of the criminals incarcerated. The DHS also reported that only 8.6 percent of people in the country are non-citizens. This does not imply that illegals are a major cause of crime. It did report that in some areas, the immigration incarceration percentage was very high.
When employment of high-skilled personnel is considered, Stephen Moore with the Heritage Foundation compared the economic advantages of giving trained professionals working visas to an untapped gold mine. Most economists agree, but they point out that those without a high school diploma will suffer a decrease in wages.
Therefore, the upper income workers should do well and the lower-income workers might suffer. However, if the economy grows, all sectors of the economy should improve. Making it possible for a skilled and trained immigrant to work here, should be a high priority of any reform.
The biggest problem of making a high priority of illegal immigration reform is the cost of social services caused by it. With over 11.6 estimated illegal immigrants living in the United States in 2012, the cost was over $113 billion in 2010. The expenses have escalated since these figures were released. With medical costs, education costs, and housing costs increasing, state budgets are stretched to the point of bankruptcy. These social service costs must be considered in any immigration reform.
The number of illegal aliens living in the United States creates serious moral considerations. Some families have lived here for many years. Their children have lived here most if not all of their lives. These people have broken the law, but they have worked hard and supported their families. What do you do about the children if you deport the parents? How do you assimilate the parents so that they have a chance to live here and become a citizen?
The United States has always welcomed people from other lands. It has become a great nation and have prospered because of this policy. Now, there is an a problem with people entering the county illegally. Both political parties agree that something has to be done. They just disagree on how to correct it.
Senator Hatch challenged his party to make immigration reform a high priority. With the Republicans now controlling both the Senate and the House of Representatives, they now have the opportunity to correct the immigration problem.
By Tom Jones
Photo Courtesy of SEIU/Flickr License