As an immigration attorney, it brings me great joy to help individuals and families immigrate to and become citizens of this amazing country. Sure, we all have our political gripes. But at the end of the day, we are fortunate enough to experience a greater freedom than citizens from so many other countries will ever know. The heritage of the United States is firmly rooted in openness, in welcoming your tired, your poor, your huddled masses. But as most things in life do, the scope of immigration has changed so dramatically. And it seems that all we see in the media are the most polarizing opposing viewpoints, with no middle ground.
We see President Trump demonizing illegal immigrants, vowing not only to deport all who are not authorized to be here in the United States, but also to dramatically reduce legal immigration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have those who wish to completely abolish the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).
But how can lawmakers agree on a policy when both sides of the argument are so…polarized? Especially when immigration is so not a polarized issue issue? How can lawmakers agree on a policy when politicians have been forced to “choose a side,” but when the overwhelming majority of Americans would choose to stand somewhere in the middle?
A new immigration policy presented by the nonprofit policy shop, the New Center, has essentially found a smack-dab-in-the-middle stance that Washington should consider. The plan is, as you can imagine, quite nuanced. But the gist of it is this: legalize the immigrants who are already here in the country while enforcing a stricter immigration policy in the future. “Dreamers” would receive permanent residency. Others would be granted a 6-year status with a clear path to citizenship, as long as certain criminal and language requirements are met.
The plan also proposes the construction of physical barriers at strategic locations along our southern border, and a verification system to ensure only authorized immigrants are hired by United States employers.
Essentially, what the New Center has proposed is a solution that would keep our borders open, honoring our heritage as a safe harbor for the oppressed and endangered, while ensuring that immigration happens legally, and under more watchful management.
You can read more about the New Center’s proposed immigration policy here.
America is the land of opportunity. It is the land where opposing social and political viewpoints can co-exist, and we can each argue for what we believe is right and just, without fear of death or imprisonment. There are wrinkles in the system, sure—addressing immigration policy is just one of the wrinkles we need to iron out right now. But together, we can.
Ask the Immigration Attorney
I encourage you to get active in your local government, and educate yourself about immigration policy. As one of Ohio’s most compassionate immigration attorneys, I welcome the opportunity to answer your most burning immigration question…completely free. As your question using the form below, and I will answer it on my Facebook page on Friday!