Immigration and the 2012 Election

Izabela Laskowska, Featured Reporter

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Since the beginning of its existence, the United States of America has been founded and developed by immigrants, thus later creating an enormous melting pot of various cultures.

Immigration is one of the many issues of the 2012 election.

“America has been a nation of immigrants for many generations.  People have come here seeking better opportunity, while escaping various restrictions and persecutions in their home countries,” said Kostyantyn Sukhovarov, a logistics manager from Vintus Wines located in  Pleasantville.

With Election Day right around the corner, immigration has become  one of the top priority issues for numerous individuals during this presidential campaign season. President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney have profoundly different objectives in regards to the issue of immigration in this nation.

“We need to fix a broken immigration system,” said President Obama during the second presidential debate held in Hofstra University on Oct.16.

President Obama has made the immigration issue a  priority for his second term to convince Congress to pass a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform.

According to the Barack Obama campaign website, the president proposed a rule to keep families together by allowing certain undocumented spouses and children of United States citizens to apply for legal status from within the country.

In the meantime, also according to the website, he worked to deport criminals and recent illegal arrivals back to their countries rather than minors and families who were already settled. This works hand in hand with the D.R.E.A.M. Act, which allows individuals who came to the United States before the age of sixteen, who went to school and/or military, temporary shield from deportation and have access to work authorization.

“Those who prove themselves and can help make this country grow should be given a chance to legally prosper in this nation of opportunity,” said sophomore political science major Kevin Bencosme-Abreu in response to the Oct.16 presidential debate. He agrees with the president on the notion that illegal immigrants have come to this nation in search of a better life, and that we can provide one for them.

Governor Mitt Romney looks at the issue from an economic perspective.  He stated that “We [the United States] do not grant enough visas to high-skill job creators and innovators our economy needs to make up for labor shortages and gaps in skills.”

According to his campaign website, Governor Romney claims that he will implement a national immigration strategy which will boost the U.S. economy, ensure security, keep families together, address the issue of illegal immigration in a “civil and resolute manner”, as well as carry on the tradition of the United States being a nation of immigrants.

Governor Romney is concerned with the poorly-guarded Mexican border, which allows numerous illegal immigrants to enter the United States, including the possibility of violent cartel members being among them.

If he was voted as president, his plans regarding immigration include attracting more highly-skilled immigrants, making the temporary worker visa system functional, securing the border using a high-tech fence, discouraging illegal immigration through mandatory employment verification system,  fully enforcing federal immigration law, and forbidding amnesty.

Both candidates have made claims against one another in regards of immigration.  For example, Governor Romney stresses the message that President Obama not only failed to secure the Mexican border, but also lied about tackling immigration during his first year in office, thus exhibiting “one more broken promise.”

President Obama, on the other hand, enforces the message that Governor Romney would impose the rule of “self-deportation”, as well as refuses to provide an answer whether or not he would “resume deportation of immigrants who came here as children.”

Clearly, the issue of immigration wages differently in the eyes of the two presidential candidates.  Their proposed plans and positions will affect not only the way many Americans will vote on Election Day, but also the path the United States will take starting next year.

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