Essay about The Immigration System Is Broken

2033 Words Apr 19th, 2016 9 Pages
There is a general consensus among lawmakers and private citizens that America’s immigration system is broken. The agreement, however, ends there. An estimated 40.4 million foreign-born people reside in the United States, and of that number, 11.6 million are here illegally (Hipsman). Those here illegally cost American tax payers a staggering $113 billion each year, which is an unsustainable path. Clearly, the current immigration laws are not working. The laws are out of date with today’s social and political climate and are also unenforceable as they are written. The entire immigration system needs to be amended to allow states the freedom to enforce the federal laws, provide a path to citizenship for a limited number of illegal immigrants already in the country, and provide funding for the enforcement of our land borders to help limit the influx of immigrants.
The landscape of America’s immigration policy today is dramatically different than what it was one-hundred-forty years ago. Prior to 1875, immigration policy was largely left up to the discretion of individual states due to the fact that the Constitution does not address the subject. Vincent Cannato, a professor of history at The University of Maryland, writes that “Congress has the authority to pass laws governing how immigrants can become citizens… but on the question of who should determine just who can enter the country and under what conditions, the Constitution is silent” (Cannato). In America’s first…

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