Political Science Paper on The Immigration Debate in America

The Immigration Debate in America

Recently, the question on whether to focus on securing the American borders or on accommodating the immigrants through the path to earned citizenship has elicited a heated debate among the Americans. As Lowenstein illustrates in a New York Times editorial, the immigration debate has been a touchstone for political argument for years (nytimes.com). The lawmakers have been weighing the need to keep America secure through preventing illegal immigration against the risk of losing global competitiveness by barring foreign talents. While several of the Republican inclined politicians seem to be pushing for tighter border security, the Democrats call for more focus on providing the immigrants with legal pathway to citizenship. The public, on the hand, holds that both options should be given equal priority. According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 33% of the general population thinks that the focus should be on secure border and stricter immigration laws while 23% voted in favor of pathway to citizenship (press.org). However, a vast 41% thought that they both should be addressed in equal measures. This essay analyses the arguments for and against each option.

What are the arguments for tighter border security? One of the solid reasons that the proponents of tightening border security have put forward is the security of the country (Heyman et al. 1). America is still in the wake of unprecedented terrorist threats, and thus cannot risk entry of illegal immigrants into the country. Tightening the security check along the borders, coupled with enforcing tougher immigration rules, reduces the chances entry of persons that pose threat to the national security. Although it is not illegal, for immigrants that are harmful to the country, tighter border security checks provide an opportunity to apprehend possible security threats.

There are several ways of securing a country’s border. While several methods have reported varying degree of effectiveness, an efficient way of securing the border can be achieved by integrating modern technological aspects of border security while taking a cohesive team approach. In a team approach method, the security officers along the borders are interconnected and shares real time information. This ensures that outlaws can be apprehended in different entries, bearing in mind that most of the criminal networks that execute crimes along borders are represented in various parts of the word.

Although the arguments for tightening border security seem convincing, some of Americans still think that immigrants should be provided for avenues to attain citizenship. The proponents of pathway to citizenship argue that the illegal immigrants are already in America, paying taxes, and contributing to economic growth (Lowenstein, nytimes.com). Deporting the over 11million illegal immigrants will not only cost the American hundreds of dollars but also leads to a loss in their input in economic development. Further, undocumented immigrants will be required to pay hefty fines and prove that they do not have any criminal record in the path to citizenship. It is therefore unlikely that crooks can unnoticeably pursue through the rigorous path to citizenship.

Although providing immigrants with a pathway to attain American citizenship may be a costly and tedious affair, it will help the American society in the end. To begin with, a chance to gain citizenship is a fair and just and should be provided to every individual. Giving immigrants a chance to attain American citizenship will provide more opportunities for increased assimilation among the American societies. It can also lead to the growth of the economy since the integrated immigrants will participate in various economic activities.

In conclusion, both ensuring tighter border security checks and recruiting immigrants on path to citizenship are beneficial to the country. While tight border security ensures immediate detection of security threat, accommodating immigrants through path to earn citizenship can promote the growth of the economy. The two options should, therefore, be evaluated and implemented on equal measures.

Works Cited

Heyman, Josiah McC, Jason Ackleson, and W. Sundberg. “US Border Security after September 11.” Border Security in the Al‐Qaeda Era (2010): 37-75. Web. 29 September 2014. http://frontier.k-state.edu/ResearchAndAnalysis/Publications/US-BorderAfter9-11%208-15pre-publicationDraft.pdf

Lowenstein, Roger. The Immigration Equation. The New York Times. July 9, 2006. Web. 29 September 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/09/magazine/09IMM.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Pew Research Center. More Prioritize Border Security in Immigration Debate. 2010. Web. http://www.people-press.org/2014/09/03/more-prioritize-border-security-in-immigration-debate/