Shane Falco

Final Project…

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2009 at 1:08 am

In the United States, the idea to control immigration or the U.S. borders is one of the most challenging, mulit-faceted tasks we will ever have.  Trying to mentally grasp everything involving immigration is a headache in itself.  Immigration policy and reform is an extremely dense body of information.   The solution to the immigration problem seems simple; If we stop the employers, the immigrants won’t come to America. President Barack Obama hopes to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. Should the Department of Homeland Security crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants?  Through my research,  I’ve found that targeting the employers will not help the immigration problem in the United States.  To many American’s, immigration is a problem of economics.

First off, the history of the United States is very important.  The United States is a nation of immigrants.  This is the first road block for the government.  If we truly define illegal, most of us living in this country would fall into this category.  The Native Americans are the true legal citizens of the land we call America.  Many illegal immigrants will make this argument, and to their defense, there really is no counter-argument.  Through my research, most of the image sources I’ve found refer to this idea.  Implementing enforcement strategies is a laughable concept to illegal immigrants.  In my personal interview with an illegal alien,  he pointed out the fact that states bordering Mexico used to be part of Mexico.  He said that the Mexican’s will always believe that California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are rightfully their lands in which they should have free access to.  Currently more than 12 million illegal immigrants reside in the United States.

When people look at the illegal immigrant workforce in the United States, many wonder how they are able to receive jobs.  People think that employers are the main problem.  However, employers being the problem is debatable. Through my research I’ve found that the real problem lies in errors in the Social Security Administration records system.  The government is trying to implement a electronic worker verification system known as E-Verify.  This program has a logical foundation.  The idea is to match potential employee social security numbers with current social security numbers in the Social Security Administration database.  This would filter out any undocumented worker.  However, the program isn’t ready for mandatory implementation.  Volunteer businesses have tried the program out.  In 2008, Intel Corporation reported a 12 % error rate.  The entire 12 % was later cleared to work, but it cost the business a lot of money.  If every business in the U.S. were required to use E-Verify, even a 1% error rate would affect 600,000 legal U.S. residents.

The problem with immigration is one of identity.  The immigrants provide fraudulent documents to their employers in order to get hired.  Does the government expect business owners and mangers to be experts in recognizing these fake or stolen documents?  This is a major problem with targeting employers who hire illegal aliens.  The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has designed a program called IMAGE, which stands for ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers.  This program works with employers to establish an internal training program to detect fraudulent documents used by illegal aliens.  However, the problem with IMAGE is that the ICE requires the participating employers to also enroll in E-Verify.  In my personal interview with 2008 Business Administration graduate, Jason Waters, he said that the erroneous frequency of E-Verify would be enough to turn employers away from getting involved in IMAGE.  He said that it would be better for the government to fund college business programs and require an additional class for business majors that contain the same information in the IMAGE program.  The training for identifying fraudulent documents would be covered educationally before many entrepreneurs entered the business world.

Through my research, I’ve realized that targeting employers is not the solution to immigration problems in the United States.  Our immigration policy is extremely outdated and need serious reform.  Many immigrants who flood the United States seek lower-skilled occupations.  These jobs consist of hotel maintenance, construction, and landscape jobs.  Many American’s don’t want these types of jobs, therefore there is a need for people who want to fulfill them.  The United States only offers 5,000 visas a year to people who seek lower-skilled work in the U.S.  That number needs to substantially increase.  Most immigrants coming to America are not affluent, college graduates who seek professional work as scientists or educators.  There are over 12 million illegal aliens currently living in the United States.  Deporting all 12 million of them would be ridiculous and cost billions of dollars.  Evidence shows that deporting people cost a lot of money, and most immigrants come back anyway.  In March of 2008, 1,331 immigrants were charged with the crime of reentry of a deported alien.  This statistic proves that building a huge wall along the border and increasing enforcement is not stopping people from coming back to the U.S.   Workplace raids and deportation doesn’t help the image of the United States globally.  A large, 2008 workplace raid by the ICE in Postville, Iowa basically destroyed the small town.  People were handcuffed, removed from their families, businesses lost customers, and the entire community was crushed.  It turns into an issue of ethics and human rights. There needs to be avenues for the immigrants to gain their legal citizenship.  When I asked the illegal alien I interviewed if he’d pay a fine in order to gain his citizenship, he said “definitely.”  He agreed that most immigrants would pay a fine.

The answer to solving the immigration problem has no clear solution.  With American politics, there is no right answer.  Perhaps targeting employers would be necessary, but only if the government fixed our outdated immigration policy first.  The best solution for solving the immigration problem is to update our immigration policy through comprehensive immigration reform.

Source Notes #1 (Journalistic, Blog)

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Source Notes #29 (Institutional, Image on Blog)

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