When addressing immigration issues, one must ask what the overall purpose for immigration reform is. What is failing in our current system, how do we want it to look, and fundamentally what is the root purpose. When immigration was moved under the Department of Homeland Security under the George W. Bush administration, it became clear that the primary focus of our immigration system would be the security of the United States, first and foremost. One bill that was passed last year to address the immigration system here in the United States was Senate Bill 744 which was put together by a bipartisan group of republicans and democrats. Though the bill was not passed on a very bipartisan vote, I felt that the “Statement of Congressional Findings” was, for the most part, well put together. Their findings were:
(1) The passage of this Act recognizes that the primary tenets of its success depend on securing the sovereignty of the United States of America and establishing a coherent and just system for integrating those who seek to join American society.
(2) We have a right, and duty, to maintain and secure our borders, and to keep our country safe and prosperous. As a Nation founded, built and sustained by immigrants we also have a responsibility to harness the power of that tradition in a balanced way that secures a more prosperous future for America.
(3) We have always welcomed newcomers to the United States and will continue to do so. But in order to qualify for the honor and privilege of eventual citizenship, our laws must be followed. The world depends on America to be strong—economically, militarily and ethically. The establishment of a stable, just, and efficient immigration system only supports those goals. As a Nation, we have the right and responsibility to make our borders safe, to establish clear and just rules for seeking citizenship, to control the flow of legal immigration, and to eliminate illegal immigration, which in some cases has become a threat to our national security.
(4) All parts of this Act are premised on the right and need of the United States to achieve these goals, and to protect its borders and maintain its sovereignty.
As stated, I believe that these findings did an overall great job outlining the purpose for immigration reform. The bill has since stalled out in the House due to complaints from both sides. Though the arguments from both sides have some validity, the bipartisan nature of this bill stemming from four republicans and three democrats including many from border states immediately impacted by immigration is a great step forward towards resolution.