Like most things today Immigration reform has become extremely political. Conservatives think of immigrants as murderers, rapists, and job stealers, who soak up government giveaways and are harmful to the country. Liberals on the other hand see immigrants as hard working people many of them fleeing oppression, who create new businesses and help the nation.
First the conservative view. FAIR which claims to be the largest immigration reform organization, has laid out seven immutable principles of what immigration reform should consist of. Now with Trump a ban on Muslims would make that eight.
First Principle: Cut the Numbers
Any level of illegal immigration is unacceptable, and current legal immigrant admissions of about one million persons each year are entirely too many.
Second Principle: No Amnesty or Mass Guest-Worker Program
Third Principle: Protect Wages and Standards of Living
Fourth Principle: Major Upgrade in Interior Enforcement, Led by Strong Employers Penalties
Fifth Principle: Stop Special Interest Asylum Abuse
Sixth Principle: Immigration Time Out
Seventh Principle: Equal Under the Law
For liberals one of the most important things they want is a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants here now. They point out that rounding up this number of people and shipping them out of the country would be nearly impossible. Furthermore these are hardworking, law abiding people who commit less crime than the American citizens.
“Most comprehensive proposals in that past several years would have increased border enforcement, instituted verification requirements for employers to ensure they are not hiring unauthorized workers, increased visas for high-skilled workers, and provided legalization for the undocumented immigrants here now. Over the years, narrower legalization proposals have focused on the DREAM Act for undocumented students, AgJobs for farmworkers, and a massive guest worker program that was promoted by President Bush.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-ong-hing/what-is-comprehensive-immigration-reform_b_2120368.html
“According to the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project, there were 8.4 million unauthorized immigrants employed in the U.S.; representing 5.2 percent of the U.S. labor force…. “Without the undocumented population, Texas’ work force would decrease by 6.3 percent” and Texas’ gross state product would decrease by 2.1 percent.”
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that, “about half of the hired workers employed in U.S. crop agriculture were unauthorized, with the overwhelming majority of these workers coming from Mexico.” The USDA has also warned that, “any potential immigration reform could have significant impacts on the U.S. fruit and vegetable industry.”
The Congressional Budget Office in 2007 concluded that: “in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized—exceed the cost of the services they use.”
“An open letter to President George W. Bush in 2006, signed by around five hundred economists (including five Nobel laureates) stated the following: “While a small percentage of native-born Americans may be harmed by immigration, vastly more Americans benefit from the contributions that immigrants make to our economy, including lower consumer prices.”
“A new forecasting tool at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania estimates Trump’s plan to deport undocumented workers would result in four million lost jobs by 2030.” http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/16/news/economy/trump-immigration-plan-jobs/index.html?iid=hp-stack-dom
Conservatives claim that Illegal Immigrants commit far more crimes. “To extrapolate out these statistics, this means that a population of just over 3.5 percent residing in the U.S. unlawfully committed 22 percent to 37 percent of all murders in the nation. This is astounding….Illegal immigrants clearly commit a level of violent and drug related crimes disproportionate to their population.” http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/crime/329589-the-truth-about-crime-illegal-immigrants-and-sanctuary-cities
“A study by The Sentencing Project, a criminal justice research and advocacy group, found that “foreign-born residents of the United States commit crime less often than native-born citizens…Another study, by the libertarian Cato Institute, compares incarceration rates by migratory status, ethnicity and gender….All immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than natives relative to their shares of the population,” the Cato study reads…Among people aged 18-54, 1.53 percent of natives are incarcerated, as are 0.85 percent of undocumented immigrants and 0.47 percent of documented immigrants, according to the Cato study of comparative incarceration rates.”
“The Sentencing Project study even goes so far as to suggest that increased immigration “may have contributed to the historic drop in crime rates” since 1990.” http://thehill.com/latino/324607-reports-find-that-immigrants-commit-less-crime-than-us-born-citizens
A study by the Cato Institute found that “Illegal immigrants are 44 percent less likely to be incarcerated than natives. Legal immigrants are 69 percent less likely to be incarcerated than natives.”
When corrected so that their immigration status was not considered a crime those undocumented immigrants who committed crime made up 0.5% of their population compared to 1.5% of the native population. https://www.cato.org/publications/immigration-reform-bulletin/criminal-immigrants-their-numbers-demographics-countries
More immigrants receive advanced degrees than natives in the U.S. Many of those immigrants would like to stay in the US and create jobs, but our current immigration system kicks them out of the country.
“The University of Chicago Booth School of Business explored the question of the impact on domestic worker income last year with a panel of top economists. The panel overwhelmingly concluded that allowing employers to hire more immigrants with advanced degrees would help wages rise over time, according to 94 percent of the respondents. Only six percent were uncertain and none disagreed.” http://www.insidesources.com/economists-overwhelmingly-support-immigrants-advanced-degrees/
Another consideration is how this effects the lives of all of the people – immigrants and native born. https://www.weareoneamerica.org/immigration-reform