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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday July 15th 2024

What Purpose Would an Immigration Reform Serve?

By MARCO DÁVILA

Why should the US pass comprehensive immigration reform? Here some reasons:

  1. Immigrants, apart from paying their respective “fines” and fees to obtain permanent residence or citizenship, would also contribute more resources to the economy of the United States. They would have access to better jobs, would have the opportunity to buy their own home, and many would become professionals and/or entrepreneurs in various areas. As legal workers, they could develop greater skills and make bigger contributions to the economy.
  2. There would be no need to lock people up in detention centers. Detention centers, in addition to not solving anything, create suffering and disorder and cost millions of dollars in public spending. Unnecessary and unfair deaths during these lockdowns would be avoided.
  3. Millions of people would avoid suffering the psychological damage of seeing their family members humiliated and locked up, and living in fear of authority at all times. Children and American youth would not suffer the stress of having undocumented fathers or mothers.
  4. The work environment would improve and workers would have more time for recreational activities. Entry would be expanded to areas of work that are currently off limits for many immigrants, such as the health sector, education, the armed forces, and so on. Immigrants would benefit from more stability and time to spend with their families.
  5. The US, apart from its obligations, also offers its citizens great benefits. With immigration reform, current undocumented immigrants would formally take part in these obligations and benefits. They would stop being “lawbreakers”– those “without rights” or “ineligible.”
  6. Immigrants would have the opportunity to earn better wages, thus contributing more to the US economy. Employers would not be able to take advantage of the situation of the undocumented by paying miserable wages. This would help raise wages for all workers in the US.
  7. Immigration reform would even benefit countries that currently export migrants. Mexico would be one of the main beneficiaries, since remittances alone have historically been very important for millions of families and for the economic development of Mexico itself.
  8. Undocumented immigrants would stop being seen as a “threat.” Conservative politicians could no longer hang onto the misfortune of these people, nor make use of the “immigrant card” in elections. In other words, they would no longer have reasons to dehumanize people at every opportunity.
  9. Many immigrants’ fears would disappear; fears such as requesting government help, calling the police in an emergency, even going to the doctor when a health problem arises. This would certainly benefit public health in general.
  10. Comprehensive immigration reform would bring more order to the US/Mexico border, thus preventing hundreds of deaths that currently result from people seeking to reach US soil every day.
  11. Immigrants would have much more loyalty to the US as a nation, since they would finally be able to proudly and unhesitatingly call the US their home. Many would even feel freer to comment on American public life and be part of the important discussions that concern all the inhabitants of this nation.
  12. There would be access to driver’s licenses for all, and with this the roads would be safer for everyone.

Specifically, the approval of an immigration reform would be a noble act of justice, it would dignify the US government, and I dare say that the US would be a happier nation.

Marco Dávila lives in Minneapolis with his family, and writes about immigration in his free time.

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