November 8th, 2016- a day marked in American history as one of the most controversial elections in US presidency.
This was the presidential election in which businessman Donald J. Trump was elected President Of the United States; the day is remembered by millions of American and immigrants alike as the presidency they feared would affect them in the worst way possible. The election of Trump, although the results may have pleased thousands of US citizens, inspired an uproar throughout the entirety of the 50 states, leading the 2016 election to question even the fundamental governmental system of the electoral college. The controversiality surrounding the the election of Donald trump served as a product of his previous campaign statements and intended policies, which many Americans attacked as statements fueled by racism, misogyny, and homophobia. Although most of Trump’s proposed statements received an uproar of criticism, most contentious of his prolices was that concerning US immigration policy. This reformed immigration policy follows the presidency of Obama, well-known as a president of the people, imploring the values of democracy into the entirety of his foreign and domestic policy in comparison to Donald Trump, a longstanding republican. Although many of Trump’s policies have the merit and potential to make a positive difference for America, multiple of his proposed solutions will not result in any effective changes in US immigration policy.
Elected as president of the the US, President Trump has made it well-known that he carries the intention of completely reforming the state of Obama’s immigration policy. The two policies, although they carry similar intentions, are widely different in the degree and method that they are carried out and enforced within the general public. The most significant of these changes is the introduction of a reformed deportation policy by President Trump. In 2010, the Obama administration issued directives for the deportation of unauthorized immigrants that placed the highest priority on those considered a threat to national security and other violent criminals. President Obama then continued in 2014 to refine these directives, issuing guidelines that instructed all immigration and Customs enforcement agents to prioritize the deportation of gang members, those convicted of any felonies, and those involved in or suspected of espionage. This deportation is considered a stark contrast to President Trump’s deportation policy, which, “no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.
” (dhs) Under the orders of these new directions, immigration agents have been given the authorization to remove any undocumented immigrants convicted of any, and even minor, criminal offenses. While President Trump may have good intentions for the american people, the way in which he has gone about the issue of illegal immigration into the United States is completely unnecessary and against the basic democratic values that the nation itself was built on. Illegal immigration has and will continue to be a serious problem in the United States, making it is completely understandable that President trump has begun to enforce a new domestic policy in hopes of significantly decreasing the number of unauthorized immigrant in and entering the US. This is seen with the reformed deportation initiatives under Trump, who following the presidency of Obama has made the decision to tackle the issue in a much more aggressive manner. However, Trump’s proposed solutions for deportation will result in the unnecessary and unlawful removal of immigrants with minor criminal records who no longer pose any danger to the American people.
This executive order will result in the deportation of millions of immigrants who have integrated themselves into american society and its working economy. Although the removal of all previously convicted aliens may hold some merit, the deportation of the individuals that have managed to become a working part of American economy will result in consequential effects for the economy of the United States. Released by Trump Administration, President Trump’s reformed immigration policy also includes enhanced penalties for overstaying a visa. Trump, in his reasoning for the instruction of the directive cites the lack punishment given to immigrants who refuse to leave the country at the time of their visa expiration. The president, in attempts of reform, marks that these individuals be subject to criminal penalties as well as suggesting the introduction of a visa tracking system.
As mentioned before, the refusal to leave following the expiration for a temporary visa should be regarded as a threat to national security. However, posing criminal penalties against all individuals who fall into this category is once again completely ineffective and will result to necessary reform to a policy with potential for resolving immigration issues effectively. Rather than impose criminal offenses upon all who overstay their visa, individuals who have been charged with no criminal offenses, have a stable job, and have integrated themselves as a working member of the american economy should be pardoned from these offenses. Otherwise, President Trump’s initial directives would result again in the removal of functioning members of american society rather than place top priority on those whose behavior during their stay in the US been substandard to the expectations of American society. (assets) Also causing much controversy was Donald Trump’s declaration to end the Obama-Era policy of ‘catch and release.
” Under the Obama administration, the catch and release policy allowed unauthorized immigrants to be released while they await for a hearing with an immigration judge. However, this policy drew much controversy due to high failure-to-appear rates by defendants, meaning many of these illegal immigrants choose to ignore these issued courts dates with no fear of repercussion and instead flee to the interior of the country, where they most likely will not be found and deported. Statistics have shown that “Metcalf found that almost a million deportation orders issued by federal immigration judges – 953,506 to be exact – have not been enforced by ICE. That is a 58 percent increase since 2002.” (heritage) Even worse, Among the aliens who disappeared and never showed up for court are more than 3,000 aliens from countries that the State Department says are involved in terrorism or have activist terrorist organizations.” These statistics reveal a significant double standard within the US immigration system; governed by the catch and release policy for deportation, non-citizens, of which thousands pose potential threat to US national security, are given to opportunity to abscond from federal court hearing and evade all consequences that a US citizen would be charged with as a result of failing to appear in district court. As a solution to a system that undermines the integrity of the US legal system and encourages illegal immigration, Trump administration has introduced the policy of immediate detainment of all illegal immigrants until their federal court hearing. Clearly seen, the enforcement of this new policy carries much potential and merit, preventing the release and escape of illegal aliens into the United States.
Although Trump has publicly announced the reformation of this policy, government statistics as well as US immigration officials have suggested that there has been no significant change to Obama’s catch and release policy. Officials explain that this lack of change is a result of the remaining legal constraints, restricting the individuals that may be detained as well as the time they may be held, due to a shortage of beds available for those being detained. Daniel Bible, an ICE field director has even stated, “he and his colleagues have not been issued new directions, and so continue to release illegal immigrants deemed to be low security risks, usually with notices to appear in court.” Although the initial idea of reformation carries much potential for decreased illegal immigration, Trump administration has taken little to no initiative in efforts to fund the policy or issue reformed directives for ICE officers. One of the most significant changes to immigration policy under trump administration continues to be the termination of DACA.
DACA is a program created by former president Barack Obama that protects certain individuals who came to the US as minors to through a period of deferred action, in which immediate deportation is prevented. These recipients, otherwise known as ‘dreamers’ have been forced to build up resistance and worldwide support following the election of Donald Trump, who argues that the program is classified as unconstitutional and a form of “illegal amnesty” and since then has terminated the program. Several government officials as well as former president Barack Obama have spoken out on the subject; Daniel Garza has put out the statement, “”reprieve from a life of uncertainty for innocent kids who didn’t break the law. It’s rather disappointing to think they could return to a state of anxiety and fear.”( att).
Shortly after, Obama tweeted a public statement, saying “This is about young people who grew up in America – kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag…
To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel” (facebook lol). The statements released by these two individuals have since served as the voice for all individuals affected by the termination of the program, and all those rallying in support of its reinstatement. Once again, Donald Trump, though possibly terminating the program to later propose a more ‘constitutional’ system, has done so in way that has left over 800,00 innocent minors in a state of constant fear as they now face possible deportation. Possibly one of the most controversial campaign promises made in the history of US presidency may be President Trump’s proposal to build a wall between the US-Mexico border in efforts to reduce unauthorized immigration.
Trump has proposed to build a wall ” ‘physically imposing in height,’ ideally 30 feet high but no less than 18 feet, sunk at least six feet into the ground to prevent tunneling under it; that it should not be scalable with even sophisticated climbing aids; and that it should withstand prolonged attacks with impact tools, cutting tools, and torches.” The production of this wall, although its intention may carry some merit, will be completely ineffective in strengthening US security. Not only does the proposed structure is estimated to cost upwards of 22 billion dollars, but will face thousands of open lawsuits and compensation. Those in opposition to the plan argue that the billion of dollars used to fund such a project would be rendered completely useless against illegal immigration, and instead further encourage illegal crossings of the US border. This is due to the proposed solution by Trump to seize remittances to Mexico as funding for the wall.
These remittances are used as the source of funding thats spurs economic and human development throughout the country. Sources state, “But for Mexicans living in poverty—some 46.2 percent in 2015 according to the Mexican social research agency CONEVAL—the remittances are a veritable lifeline which can represent as much as 80 percent of their income.
These families count on that money for the basics of life—food, clothing, health care, and education for their children.” In seizing these remittances from the mexican people, Trump may only will increase the flow of undocumented workers that immigrate to the United States, which is precisely the opposite of what the the residents reformed immigration policy promises to accomplish. Not only will the source of funding encourage further immigration, but many believe that even a wall that is considered ‘physical imposing’ in height will be rendered ineffective against the sophisticated tunnel systems as well as smuggling methods used by the Mexican people. According the statements made by US law enforcement officials, “In April 2016, U.S. law enforcement officials discovered a drug tunnel that ran more than half a mile from Tijuana to San Diego and was equipped with ventilation vents, rails, and electricity.
It is the longest such tunnel to be found so far, but one of 13 of great length and technological expertise discovered since 2006. Altogether, between 1990 and 2016, 224 tunnels have been unearthed at the U.S.–Mexico border.” Not only will the the production of tunnel systems be increased, but the popular methods of smuggling that include the use of “drones and catapults as well as joint drainage systems between border towns that have wide tunnels or tubes through which people can crawl and drugs can be pulled” will also increase. Even with the addition of the wall on the US-Mexican border, the trend towards smuggling both people and goods via boat, landing on the California coast will continue to increase in popularity. The irrelevance of the wall is able to be even further emphasized, due to the fact that the majority of the drug trade, which brings in smuggled marijuana, cocaine heroin, and methamphetamines now occurs through legal ports of entry along the US border. Clearly seen, the proposal of building such a wall is a completely ineffective solution to the problem that the US prominently faces today.
(Brookings). However. Trump administration has also proposed a solution to triple the amount of ICE officers patrolling the border.
If carried out in a proper manner, this may serve as an effective solution to discourage the flow of undocumented workers from Mexico and well as better the national security of the US (assets).