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Clarifying immigration reform

The hot topic in the Presidential election is immigration reform. Each party holds a strong position on this complex issue.

Currently the immigration policy is based on the principles of reuniting families, admitting immigrants with skills that are valuable to the U.S. economy, protecting refugees and promoting diversity. Annually, the policy permits a worldwide limit of 675,000 permanent immigrants. The process to obtain citizenship is often difficult and drawn out.

The policy, unfortunately, is sometimes disregarded by immigrants and Americans alike. Immigrants are often looking for jobs, and citizens will sometimes hire illegal immigrants in order to pay them “under the table” to avoid taxes. Some current citizens’ attitudes discourages immigrants from abiding by the set policy.

CNN reported that 88 percent of Americans agree there should be a reform in immigration policy.

“American history is full of inconsistencies,” Gary Pranger, associate professor of history said. “U.S. Immigration policy needs reassessing and reforming.”

According to Curtis Ellis, chair of the history, humanities and government department, understanding each party’s reform proposals can be confusing. He also said there is movement in immigration reform to correct these actions.

“[Immigration policies] are also very complicated,” said Ellis. “It is not like one of those issues like gun control or abortion where the two parties have sorted clearly.”

Understanding policies and reform ideas from each party is necessary when deciding how to vote.

One proposal includes reinforcing the divider between the U.S. and Mexico. Government funding would be necessary to expand the existing wall on the southern border. “Unless [Congress] decides that the wall counts as military funding, they probably will not fall in line behind the idea enough to make a significant difference,” said Ellis.

Another proposal suggests reinforcing border security may address policy concerns. Pew Research states illegal immigration has stabilized in recent years after steadily rising. Only half of illegal immigrants are Mexican, which begs the question, Is the wall necessary? The people must decide whose proposal is the best method of reform.