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Making Sense of Change: U.S. Immigration Reform

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Immigration reform is undoubtedly one of the most glaring issues the presidential candidates will wrestle over as the 2008 election approaches. But in order to go about changing U.S. immigration laws, it’s important that we as citizens precisely understand in what ways these laws can be changed.

Do you know what life is like for immigrants here in the U.S.? Do you know how people migrate here illegally? A majority of Americans believe in immigration reform, but what does that reform entail? Here’s an article covering the basics of the changes in immigration laws that are being pushed for by citizens and politicians alike.

This year, true immigration reform was halted by a congress and a president at odds with each other. But a new administration is about to take over and that means the door will soon be open for changing U.S. immigration laws once again.

Immigration increases the population and changes the cultural and ethnic makeup of America, and now because of fears of foreign terrorists, it’s become a huge source of controversy.

The main debate about immigration revolves around illegal immigrants. Should we grant amnesty to illegal immigrants in our country? Should illegal immigrants be portrayed as criminals because they are burdening American services and taking American jobs? Should we also, or instead, track down businesses who hire illegal immigrants and punish them for it? Should it be easier to immigrate to the U.S.? There has even been a movement to build a physical border separating Mexico and the United States.

More than eight million illegal immigrants are living in America right now. The main goal of changing U.S. immigrations laws is not only to protect our borders, but to yield an organized and strategic plan for coping with those who are already inside those borders illegally. While national security is always a major issue, the vast majority of illegal immigrants are simply working to support their family, just like all other Americans. This disconnect between protecting America’s defense and resources, and honoring a human being’s right to make a decent living for themselves is at the forefront of immigration reform.

While race is a conspicuous aspect of immigration, immigration reform is hardly a black and white issue. As citizens become more knowledgeable and involved about the subject, the chances that a reasonable compromise can be made will only become greater.

It seems difficult for the Average Joe to motivate radical changes in U.S. immigration laws, but the collective effort of every citizen will make a difference in legislation (and already has, to an extent). There exists a powerful cry for immigration reform and the 2008 presidential candidates have heard it loud and clear. Send a letter to your senators and representatives telling them what changes you want made in U.S. immigration laws.

Keep in mind that the enemy to immigration reform is oversimplified and/or confused debate. In order to inspire real change, we must understand the issue and accept and appreciate the deep complexities and subtleties of long-lasting effects of immigration (both good and bad).

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