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Immigration Reform

Immigration is a widely discussed topic in the international arena. It has become an issue of concern because of the increasing number of individuals who are crossing borders, legally or illegally. According to Migration Policy Institute, African immigrants in the United States of America alone, increased over forty fold between 1960 and 2007. It is noted that a major increase took place in the 1990s. This is because of the increase in intra-state conflicts ever since the end of the Cold war which affects the economic and social factors of many African countries causing many to pack their bags and look for greener pastures. With the number of immigrants increasing day in day out, various states, especially the United States of America, have seen the need to reform their migration policies. This is a mechanism to try and contain the numbers crossing boarders annually. Some states argue that immigrants should be allowed to stay because they are a good source of cheap labor for jobs that the natives deem unfit. Others argue that they should be asked to leave because most of them do not have the necessary documents, hence are illegal and they do not pay taxes in their host country. However, the main cause for immigration reform is the increase of illegal immigrants worldwide. Most of the reforms today mainly focus on increase in boarder security, employer sanctions and detention or deportation of illegal immigrants.

Alden notes that the Unites States has for the past two decades concentrated on safeguarding their boarders. The successive regimes have continuously increases the number of boarder patrol agents and built fences along the southern boarder up to 700 miles long. Over the years these changes have proven inadequate and it is noted that the United states government has gone to the extent of deploying pilot less drones, sensor cameras and biometrics technology. Such measure are put in place to try and ensure that only those allowed to enter the country find their way in and all others are locked out. Illegal immigrants became a major matter of concern to the United States and other countries in the international system after the September 11 attack. This attack acted as an eye opener for many countries because of the difficulty in identifying those responsible. This was followed by the belief that immigrants were the major source of increase in crime in many countries and hence, an increase in border patrol would be a solution to such a problem. This is because the illegal immigrants would be stopped in their tracks and would be a nuisance to the country they are trying to enter. This reason has made boarder patrol a major factor in immigration reform.

Employer sanctions applied to those who hire undocumented immigrants is another factor in the reforms. Sanctions are commonly in the form of hefty fines placed on individuals or companies found hiring illegal immigrants. These sanctions are put in place to ensure that undocumented immigrants are discouraged from entering the country in question, and getting employment. This is because as noted by Moran, many employers seek to hire illegal immigrants because they will work under whatever conditions and ask no questions concerning better pay. This saves the companies a lot of money in trying to ensure the working environment meets the rules and regulations. Apart from this, the sanctions are also put in place in order to protect the labor market which commonly comprises of the citizens of that country.

In conclusion, immigration are very necessary today because of the influx in illegal immigrants. Such reforms are not after punishing the immigrants but after ensuring that they follow the rules in place. However, with numerous numbers crossing international boarders in search for a better life every day, it is proving difficult for countries that host them to keep track of them. Hence, it is necessary to have immigration reform in order for states to protect their sovereignty, their citizens and their environment.

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