Opinion: Immigration policy alternatives in the U.S.

Jacob Tabler is a junior political science major and a member of the Kent State College Republicans. Contact him at [email protected]

Immigration policy in the United States continues to be a divisive issue between Republicans and Democrats. The debate on how to solve this problem has been going on for decades, and this election is no different. Candidates on both party sides claim to have the best plan to solve the issue.

When considering policy alternatives it is important to take into account the consequences of every action. For example, the proposal to deport approximately 11 million illegal immigrants has become somewhat popular. Supporters of this plan argue that these immigrant workers are taking jobs away from Americans and contributing to a high unemployment rate. However, this is not necessarily what is taking place and deporting these people is not an economically viable solution.

In Alabama, similar immigration policies were implemented in 2011. These policies cracked down on immigrants living in the states. Citizens were banned from providing housing, health care and work for illegal immigrants. This resulted in a disappearing workforce in the Alabama’s large agriculture sector, and the few Americans that stepped in to replace them could not handle the workload.

Therefore, farmers were not able to produce as much. This meant rising food prices and some farmers facing the danger of bankruptcy. It is consequences like this that policymakers must be aware of and provide different alternatives for.

For me, the most viable solution to solve this issue is more moderate. To really try and solve this problem, there is a number of things that must be done:First of all, it is important to secure the border. Though a wall is not realistic or economically viable, securing the border can be done in a much more efficient way. Increasing drone monitoring and border patrols are much more realistic ideas to keep our southern border secure. Secondly, we must urge Mexico to secure its southern borders as well. Not every immigrant crossing the United States’ southern border originates from Mexico; many originate from Central America. If Mexico were to close off its border, it would aid our efforts of securing our own.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich presents a middle-ground solution in handling handle illegal immigrants currently residing in the U.S.: By creating a simple guest worker program to allow immigrant workers to travel in and out of the country, it would allow for a path to legalization for illegal immigrants and their families. Those who pay a back tax—and have not committed any crimes while residing in the U.S.— also have the opportunity for legalization. This would allow illegal immigrants and their families to pursue their goals in the country while not rewarding illegals with citizenship.

Overall the issue of immigration reform has been debated for a long time. It is a wedge issue meant to tear voters apart and polarize each party. However, I believe I have presented a middle ground solution that can help bring people together.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Kent State College Republicans as an organization.