Immigration is a serious issue affecting the United States government. Although the constitution provides guideline it to the issue of immigration, the increasing number of aliens has evoked he debate on the effectiveness of the enforcement of immigration policies. Statistics indicate that in 2010, there were eleven unregistered immigrants in the United States (Wasem, 2012, p. 1). The immigrants from all parts of the world travel to UA in search for economic opportunities, avoiding conflict in their countries or attempting to unite with family members in the States. Although many of the immigrants are in dire need of assistance, are criminals who put the security of the larger public at risk. The many undocumented alien or people possessing fake documents provide a cover for terrorists to operate in the United States without being noticed (Kane & Johnson, 2006). Immigration enforcement is, therefore, a fundamental issue that is faced with massive challenges and requires urgent reform to address the primary issues.
The main issues affecting the immigration enforcement include the problem of securing the border. The duty of border security is carried out by the department of homeland security (DHL) and department of state (DOS). In securing the countries border, these two units are expected to check all the people and goods entering America to ensure that they are legal and well documented. The problem has however been the issue of the porous border with some countries such as Mexico and the existence of many fake documents which are used to cross the border by illegal immigrants (Immigrationpolicy.org, 2009). At the American-Mexican border, for example, immigrants walk long distances to avoid the authorities. The immigrants are also aided by criminals who provide them with transportation and logistics on how to elude the border patrol units. The organized crime of smuggling people into the United States has posed a major challenge to the enforcement of the immigration policies
A second challenge is the increase of fake documents held by immigrants who attempt to enter the United States. For one to enter the United States, they require a visa issued by the American Embassy in their country. However, fraudsters have developed counterfeit documents which are presented to the immigration officers in an attempt to gain entry into the country. Such documents are also given to employers when immigrants seek employment in America. Although the law requires an employer to validate the documents of their employees, it is hard to tell apart the fake document from the valid, therefore, posing even a bigger problem (Immigrationpolicy.org, 2009). The problem of determining a legal immigrant has been a significant issue in the enforcement of the immigrant policies. Many of the illegal immigrants in the United States have been forced to move from their native land due to economic or political challenges (Kane & Johnson, 2006). They are not willing to be deported. Many others were granted temporarily documentation which has expired such as students. The immigrants holding expired documents face it difficult to return to their native country due to the jobs or families they have established in the United States. Their only option is to hide from the law enforcement agencies and avoid detection that they are illegally living in the country. Workers in factories with temporary work permit find it difficult to leave their jobs and pursue a renewal of their permits.
In an attempt to deal with the illegal migration challenge, some leaders have proposed the formation of state and local authorities’ agencies. The new bodies would assist the federal government in dealing with aliens. The idea attracts both supporters and opponents. Proponents believe that the national measures of dealing with illegal immigration are ineffective and, therefore, should be supplemented by the local authorities (Wasem, 2012, p. 12). The opponents, however, believe that such a move would be expensive and bring about duplication of roles among officers. It would also lead to the violation of fundamental human rights of persons.
The department of homeland security plays a fundament role in the enforcement of the immigration policies. The department of homeland security is made up of various units which are responsible for the process implementation of the immigration policies. The United States citizenship and immigration services unit is responsible for reviewing and approving the immigrants petition to be issued with a visa. The visa security program which ensures that immigrants’ documents are valid is operated by the immigrations and customs enforcement unit (Wasem, 2012, p. 2). At the point of entry for both goods and people, the customs and border protection unit under the DHS does the work of inspection to ensure that everyone entering the United States is legal.
The problem of immigration has been addressed using various methods by both the federal and state governments. There has however been minimal success achieved. The number of illegal immigrants entering the country is estimated to be seven hundred thousand. The measures implemented by the federal government, therefore, are ineffective (Immigrationpolicy.org, 2009). The federal government, therefore, has inadequately enforced the immigration policies effectively. The government should adopt new strategies such as seeking corporation with the local community in the border area and companies to avert the increasing number of immigrants. Since migrants must find jobs to earn income for their survival, the government should ensure that recruitment at companies is carefully monitored to ensure that employers hire legal citizens only (Kane & Johnson, 2006). The use of technology o biometrically registers all workers could assist in solving the problem. At the same time, the government should provide humane conditions for illegal immigrants and set up agencies to promote peace and economic prosperity in their native countries. Immigrants would then be willing to return to their country willingly.
- Immigrationpolicy.org,. (2009). Enforcing Immigration Laws: Repairing our Broken Immigration System. Retrieved from http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/enforcing-immigration-laws-repairing-our-broken-immigration-system
- Kane, T., & Johnson, K. (2006). The Real Problem with Immigration… and the Real Solution. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2006/03/the-real-problem-with-immigration-and-the-real-solution
- Wasem, R. (2012). Overview of Immigration Issues in the 112th Congress (1st ed.). Retrieved from https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/R41704.pdf