Luis first entered the United States without inspection when he was just twelve years old. Ever since his arrival in 2005, Luis has been hopeful that Congress would pass comprehensive immigration reform allowing individuals like himself a pathway to United States citizenship. Unfortunately for Luis and millions of others like him, Congress has failed to act. With the presidential elections quickly approaching, Luis wonders if there is any hope for the future.
Build a Wall
Donald Trump’s position on immigration reform should come as no surprise to anyone. His first priority is to build a wall across the southern borders of the United States and to have Mexico pay for it. Trump believes that “the cost of building a permanent border wall pales mightily in comparison to what American taxpayers spend every single year on dealing with the fallout of illegal immigration on their communities, schools and unemployment offices.” In addition to building a wall, Trump seeks to triple the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in order to enforce the laws that are already in place. A few of Trump’s other proposed reforms consist of the following:
- End birthright citizenship;
- Defund sanctuary cities;
- Increase standards for admission of refugees; and
- Control the admission of low-earning workers.
Unfortunately for Luis, Trump seeks to deport DREAMers (any illegal immigrant who crossed the border before they turned 16 years of and have continuously lived in the United States for five years) like himself. Even though Luis presently lives and works in the United States as a DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals) recipient without fear of deportation, all of that could vastly change with the election of our next President.
Offer a Path
Hillary Clinton has been a long-time proponent of comprehensive immigration reform (providing a pathway to citizenship for certain individuals who came to the United States illegally as a minor). In addition to passing comprehensive immigration reform, Clinton also seeks to “focus resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety, and ensure refugees who seek asylum in the U.S. have a fair chance to tell their stories.”
Sadly for Luis, even if Hillary is elected as president, this nation is still far from fixing its broken immigration laws. President Obama has made numerous attempts to reform this nation’s immigration system, all to no avail. Presently, individuals like Luis who have no criminal history are allowed to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation, even though a pathway to permanent residency and U.S. citizenship presently does not exist. At the very least, Luis can expect Hillary to keep this policy in place. There are still a lot of unknowns about the two candidates and what may transpire in the upcoming years, but at this point the only thing we know about the candidates is what they say. What we do know for sure is that continuing with the status quo isn’t good for anyone, especially Luis.