By: Valerie Johnston
Since U.S. President Trump’s campaign, immigration reform has been on everyone’s minds. Many Americans believe that the nation is in need of complete reform, while others argue that looser immigration policies is the answer. Trump has already begun dismantling certain protections set into place by former President Obama’s administration for immigrants, but complete reform is still under discussion. These three factors are likely to continue to dominate any real action on immigration reform in the future:
- Congress’ Inaction
Above everything else in the discussion on immigration is an overwhelming frustration – on all sides – for Congress’ inaction. The discussion regarding American immigration reform has been raging for years, and while Presidents have put orders into action, no real action has been seen from Congress. Immigration laws are currently very open to interpretation and not concise, due mostly to the lack of action taken by Congress.
- Immigration’s Impact on the Economy
Many voters in favor of looser immigration laws cite the power of the immigrant labor force. Without immigrant workers – particularly in the fields of agriculture and manufacturing – many fear that the economy will take the biggest hit. Employers cite difficult visa laws, recently changed by the Trump administration, as a big hurdle in hiring immigrants legally. Legal immigration also results in millions of tax revenue, which will all be gone should Trump’s campaign for strict immigration laws continue to move ahead.
- Children of Immigrants
During the Obama administration, immigrants who were brought to America as children were granted extended visas and promised safety in the face of deportations. However, one case in April shows that even these legal residents have been detained and denied re-entry after forced deportation. One concern among many is what may happen to minor children born in the U.S. to immigrant parents, should their parents face deportation. This will be another important factor in any future immigration reform in America.