During his campaign, President Donald Trump emphasized fixing the illegal immigration problem. His solution was a wall, but there are many more actionable ways the United States can quell the problem of illegal immigration.
The Facts of Illegal Immigration
-According to Pew Research Studies, there were about 11.1 million illegal immigrants in the United States in 2014.
-Mexicans comprise of 52% of all illegal immigrants. Mexicans have been at the forefront of Trump’s rhetoric against illegal immigration. Trump has called Mexicans “rapists” and stated that they “bring crime” and are “bringing drugs.”
-Turns out, Trump is right about illegal immigrants in general. According to Fox News, illegals are 3x more likely to commit a felony than a U.S. citizens. According to the United States Sentencing Commission, illegal immigrants commit 75% of all drug-related crimes.
How to fix Illegal Immigrantion
We came up with seven reasons that the illegal immigration problem can be stopped. The best thing about it is that the ways to stop this crisis could seriously be put into place. Here they are:
#1: “Build the Wall”
Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that he will build a wall, and turns out, the wall will be built, as the order has already gone in for the construction of the wall.
As of now, only about 1/3 of the US/Mexican border is fenced off. Illegal Immigrants can slip through the rest of the border and enter the U.S. illegally. By obstructing the illegals with a fence or a wall, the task of immigrating becomes a lot harder and much more a hardship. Also, a wall would be intimidating, forcing a few to turn back around.
Practicality: The wall seemed out-of-reach at first, but the plans have already gone in to order the wall.
#2: Take Away Their Chance for Employment
One of the main reasons illegals enter the United States is to hopefully score a job. By taking away this possible opportunity of employment, a huge reason for illegally immigrating to the U.S. would be taken away.
The good news: this can be implemented easily. There are two ways to do this, and both can be done:
One: Stop Illegals from Obtaining Work Permits: to apply to most jobs, an immigrant must present a work permit. The only way to get one is if they are legal, but you could still have been an illegal alien at some point in the past. By taking away any opportunity to get a permit at any time in their life, even if they become legal, would certainly dull the prospects of coming to the U.S. illegally.
Two: Mandatory Verification of Applicants Before Hiring. As Marketwatch points out, the United States government has created a free program to verify if a person is a legal or illegal immigrant. Called E-Verify, all an employer has to do is enter the applicant’s name, social security number, and date of birth to get an accurate reading to their status. Considering that an employer has to collect this information anyway, this solution is easy, and best of all, free.
Practicality: Forcing every single employer to comply with a law requiring verification of potential hires would be a tough task, but could be enforced.
#3: End the DREAM Act
The DREAM Act (acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) is an American legislative proposal for a multi-phase process for undocumented immigrants in the United States that would first grant conditional residency and upon meeting further qualifications, permanent residency.
The passing of the DREAM Act ensures that many illegal immigrants that entered the country at 16 or younger are granted amnesty for their crossing. To qualify, an illegal must have a high school diploma or GED, have lived in the country for five-plus years, and pass a criminal background check.
By ending this act, any illegal immigrant with any of these qualifications would be classified as an illegal can, by law, be deported. Many parents may send their kid across the border illegally, but if this law is ended, parents would fear for their child’s deportation and many would most likely not take the risk.
By ending the illegal immigration of minors, this stops the future problem of an overflow of illegals in the future – as the problem would persist year after year with more and more parents sending their children across the border. After a lot of years, the illegals add up.
Practicality: a law would have to pass through all three branches of the government, and getting bipartisan support would be an uphill battle. Trump could repeal parts of it with an executive bill, but not all of it.
#4: ICE and National Guard Roundups
The recent ICE raids are in the spotlight due to the President’s anti-illegal immigration sentiment, even though the raids are simply routine. Ramping up the number of raids would net more illegals, and therefore more illegal immigrants would be deported to their home country.
Practicality: This may be the hardest of all ways on this list. With so many illegals in the United States, tracking many, even some, will be a tough task for both ICE and the National Guard.
#5: End Sanctuary Cities
A sanctuary city is a metropolitan area that shields illegal aliens from being arrested for moving to the United States illegally. Many major cities are sanctuary cities, but after threats by the new President, some cities are revoking their status. However, many sanctuary cities are holding out.
If the government were to completely end sanctuary cities, many more illegals could be deported, as most settle in cities due to the already diverse culture and the fact that they legally can not be arrested and deported for their crime.
Practicality: There is a particular challenge to enacting this. The decision to rescind the sanctuary status is up to the individual cities, not the federal government. Trump is doing all he legally can do by threatening to cut all federal funding to sanctuary cities, but cities may still hold out until Trump lives up to his threats.
#6: Prohibit Illegals from Applying for Citizenship
If the illegal immigrants are really willing to make a living in this country and want to permanently live in the United States, they will eventually want to apply for citizenship. By making sure that all possible future citizens came here in the first place by legal means, it would separate the people who want to actually live in the country from people that are actually here to accept benefits.
Practicality: This would be a tough law to pass, but one of the most effective. Chances are, this would never be taken up in the Senate or House.
#7. Fix the Welfare System that Illegals are Living off of
According to the Center for Immigrant Studies, Illegal Immigrant households cost almost $6,000 a pop. CNN money puts it at almost $15,000 per household. Take into account that there are 11+ million undocumented immigrants, and that’s a lot of taxpayer money going into the pockets of people who have committed a felony.
The fix? Require entire families to be legal to receive the benefits. Mostly, families receive these benefits if they have a child born in the U.S. By requiring the entire family to be legal to get these benefits from the federal government, less taxpayer money will fund illegals and illegals would be less willing to come to this country if there is no economic incentive from the government.
Practicality: This would easily be the most effective solution of the seven, but making a law like this might not get the required votes from Democrats to pass.
It’s clear that the illegal immigration problem needs to be fixed. By using one, two, or all seven of these actionable ideas would seriously fix this conundrum.