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Opinion: US Needs to Pass Real Immigration Reform

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On Monday, a group of eight bipartisan Senators proposed a comprehensive immigration reform bill different from the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013. This bill would grant legal provisional status to the more than 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, allowing them to work and live here. In addition to this measure, the bill also includes measures to strengthen the border, increase penalties for those hiring illegals, and stronger monitoring of those visiting the country. After this, undocumented people living in the United States could then apply for permanent residence status, and pursue citizenship.

Some object to this legislation, claiming that we are telling the 11 million illegal immigrants in America that their behavior is okay by granting them legal status. But other than the typical immigration talks, what is different about this reform than, say, the DREAM Act?

I am a bit concerned with this bills proposition to increase unmanned drones along the border, as drones are talked about with increasing frequency and frustration. But, the bill is said to make citizenship easier for immigrants who received a Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering or math. This type of system creates an environment in which immigrants show their willingness to be a productive member of American society, and is rewarded with an easier path to citizenship (not to mention the education).

Many complain that this will hurt the economy and cost taxpayers millions, but I see it as quite the contrary. Immigrants are known to come to the United States and create jobs, investing and creating businesses. I think it’s time the United States passed some real immigration reform. As a developed and industrious nation, with freedoms galore, I see no reason why we can’t adjust our immigration system for equality, fairness and justice.

Legal equality for many groups have been, or is currently being reached, or supported by the American people. Women are now allowed to fight in combat positions and comprehensive immigration reform is being debated in Congress again, all within the same week. Immigration has been on the agenda for awhile. I’m glad it’s finally being discussed again, as the problem hasn’t gone away, and neither have the people.

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