Implementing Compassionate Immigration Reform Essay

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Identifying Optimal Immigration Policies

In 1870, the United States had a population of about 39 million people with virtually no immigration laws in place (U.S. historic population, 2017). In fact, it was not until several individual states began passing various types of immigration laws after the Civil War that the federal government enacted any limitations on immigration to the United States at all (Early American immigration policies, 2017). Although the situation in America is far different today, these early immigration policies were based on the same exclusionary issues that they are today. For instance, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Alien Contract Labor laws of 1885 and 1887 were intended to prevent workers from specified countries from entering the country (Early American immigration policies, 2017). In other words, over the past century and a half or so, foreigners have increasingly been regarded as some type of political, economic or social threats to Americans that demand intervention by the U.S. government, a trend that has assumed even greater relevance and importance in the post-September 11, 2001 environment.

Should the United States follow the path outlined by President Donald Trump and simply build a wall between America and Mexico? If the U.S.-Mexico wall is a good idea, why stop there? After all, the United States and Canada share the longest unprotected border in the world and terrorists can slip through this highly porous border easily enough if they have the motivation to do so.

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A U.S.-Canada wall would not be the final solution, of course, since this still leaves two enormous coasts that are highly vulnerable to illegal immigration. In other words, merely building more and higher barriers along the nation’s borders is not the answer to illegal immigration.

In the business world, it is axiomatic that in order to better understand a complicated situation, it is important to “follow the money.” Applied to illegal immigration, it is reasonable to suggest that the overwhelming majority of those who seek to enter the country illegally do so for better economic opportunities compared to their countries of origin (Bender, 2010). This aspect of “follow the money” is straightforward enough and likely serves to explain the rationale behind most illegal immigrants taking their lives in their hands to reach the “city on the hill.” This type of analysis suggests that to the extent that economic conditions in other….....

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Bender, S. W. (2010, November). Compassionate immigration reform. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 38(1), 107-111.

Early American immigration policies. (2017). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Retrieved from

Kopan, T. (2017, August 2). How to earn 'points' to come to the US under Trump's immigration plan. CNN Politics. Retrieved from

U.S. population. (2017). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved from history/www/through_the_decades/fast_facts/1870_fast_facts.html.

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