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The American election debate usually attracts a lot of interest from its citizenry and the whole world due to the fact that the United States is a world super-power. Additionally, policies implemented by presidential contenders once they assume office tend to have ripple effects on the whole world.
The November elections this year will pit incumbent president Barrack Obama who is a Democrat, against Mitt Romney who is a Republican. It is noteworthy to mention that these two presidential candidates do not concur on most of the social and economic issues, which the federal state should address. Immigration is one of the aspects on which Romney and Obama have different perspectives.
It touches on the Dream Act, border fencing and the problem of undocumented workers. In Marotti’s words, “Obama says he has passed legislation that has helped immigrants in America, and Romney says he will be the one to sort out the immigration issue America is faced with” (par. 2).
The American government has made significant strides in ensuring that its border, especially with Mexico, is impervious. However, there are occasions when individuals deem it appropriate to cross the border without legal authority from the immigration department.
It is in this regard that Obama is agitating for the deployment of additional 20,000 security personnel to fortify border security (Wood par. 4). Additionally, he vehemently proposes the building of a 370 mile high security fence on the American-Mexican border to ward-off illegal immigrants.
Mitt Romney also passionately advocates for the beefing up of border security. Additionally, he highly advocates for introduction of an electronic entry and exit verification system. The system will ensure that a vetting process is installed to confirm that people entering the country are recognized by the immigration department. Such drastic measures according to Romney are necessary, because a chunk of illegal immigrants hail from South America and get into the united states via Mexico.
Consequently, it is quite crucial that anyone who wants to get into the United States via the Mexican border is kept at bay, regardless of the individual’s creed, color or race (Marotti par. 7). According to Wood, “Romney has sought to put immigration reform in an economic context, suggesting changes designed to help American business” (par. 5).
The Dream Act
The Dream Act which was introduced to the American congress in 2001 is yet to be ratified, because it cannot garner enough support from both sides of the floor. It seeks to provide legal status, education and jobs to individuals who came to the United States when under sixteen years of age but are yet to attain the age of 30.
Incidentally, president Obama supports the Dream Act and is intent is to ensure that the above mentioned individuals are accorded citizenship (Marotti par. 8). President Obama saved a host of young illegal immigrants from deportation in June, when he granted them two-year work permits through executive decision. Accordingly, this shows his unwavering commitment in his concern for the welfare of immigrants.
On the contrary, Romney is opposed to the ratification of the Dream Act in all regards. Romney predicates that giving any illegal immigrants a soft landing will only provide momentum for additional immigrants to flock into the country. His deep conviction is that illegal immigration should be curtailed. However, he asserts that students from overseas who study in the United States should be granted work visas upon graduating, especially those from science and engineering disciplines (Iverac par. 8).
The other perspective of immigration is the thorny issue of undocumented workers. Obama holds the view that the federal state should initiate and expedite the formalization of citizenship for illegal immigrants. He believes that it is the moral duty of the federal state to accord illegal immigrants a fair trial before deporting them back to their countries.
He is lobbying for the actualization of a guest worker program to enable the economy meet its high demand for low-skill low-wage labor. Furthermore, he underscores the importances of having an employment verification system to enable employers tell whether the person being hired is a legal or illegal immigrant (Wood par. 5). Subsequently, this sort of information from employers can go a long way in helping the state to keep tabs on the number of immigrants working in the country, both legal and illegal.
On the other hand, Mitt Romney castigates illegal immigrants. He believes that they should all go back to their countries and re-apply for immigration into the United States. As a result, he is championing for the self deportation strategy where the federal government makes it impossible for illegal immigrants to secure jobs in the United States (Iverac par. 9).
He argues that making life abrasive for illegal immigrants will make them want to go home without any coercion by the state. Romney believes that the current and previous regimes have been playing cat and mouse games with illegal immigrants for a long time, and it is time the issue is brought to an end.
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He is propagating the sanctioning of employers who hire illegal immigrants, in order to deter the menace of illegal immigrants doing jobs that would have otherwise been taken up by legal immigrants and ordinary citizens. On a lighter note, Romney is seeking support from all quarters to relax the laws that enable people acquire temporary work permits. He believes that immigrants play a very pivotal role in the economic development of the nation.
Therefore, by enabling people get entry into the United States where they can be more productive is instrumental in job creation and technological innovation, if the law is followed to the letter (Wood par. 9). A point of concurrence on the immigration issue between Obama and Romney is the employer electronic verification system. They believe this should be implemented to enable employers screen the immigration status of possible employees.
The United States of America is epitomized by everyone around the world for its impeccable infrastructure, education, quality healthcare and freedom of expression. Consequently it is a dream destination for people who live in less developed countries (Marotti par. 5).
Therefore, scores of people will continue applying for green card lotteries in a bid to gain entry into the United States. However, there are those unscrupulous individuals who will always try to circumvent the system by gaining illegal entry into the country, through the porous borders or otherwise. By and large, the immigration issue is a sensitive matter and it should not be subjected to political rhetoric by republicans or democrats.
Much as the candidates will try to appease voters mostly of South American descent, the crux of the matter is that illegal immigrants are not eligible to vote. Illegal immigrants will still be a source of unemployment in the United States, if their grievances are relegated to a lip service discourse and not decisively dealt with. Iverac argues that, “What precisely will happen next year depends whether two parties will be able to reach a compromise” (par. 25).
Iverac, Mireta. “Obama, Romney Differ in Approach to Immigration Problems.” WNYC News, 15 October 2012. Web.
Marotti, Ally. “Obama, Romney Debate Illuminates Immigration Differences.” The Lantern, 17 October 2012. Web.
Wood, Daniel B. “Obama vs. Romney 101: Ways they Differ on Immigration.” The Christian Science Monitor, 29 August 2012. Web.