Immigration and Farmer Deportation in the US

Evolution of the Immigration policy

The United States began restricting immigration after it gained independence. Early immigration laws favored the entry of Europeans into the US. The Naturalization Act of 1790 denied citizenship to non-white immigrants. Only white people regarded as possessing high moral standards and who had resided in the US for no less than two years were allowed to become citizens. African Americans were allowed to become citizens only after1870. Several immigration restrictions were passed, starting in 1875: criminals, anarchists, polygamists, and people with contagious diseases were barred from entering the US. Immigration from Asian countries was also restricted. The early years of the 1900s were characterized by high numbers of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe. In 1943, new laws allowed increased Chinese immigration. The passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965 revolutionized America’s immigration system. The Act created a system that was based on family reunification and admission of people with skilled labor. This law increased immigration from Asia and Latin America. The admission of refugee immigrants commenced in 1980 after the enactment of the Refugees Act. In 1986, Congress passed into law the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) that provided amnesty to immigrants who had resided in the US for 4 years. The Act also illegalized the hiring of undocumented immigrants.

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The Immigration Act of 1990 increased the number of immigrants admitted annually to 700,000. Congress passed the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) in 1996 that increased restrictions on immigration. For example, minor offences such as shoplifting can lead to an immigrant’s deportation. Moreover, individuals undergoing the removal process can be jailed for a prolonged period before appearing before an immigration board. The US immigration policy underwent major changes after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In 2012, President Obama issued an executive order that allowed young immigrants to seek for deportation relief an work permits under the DACA program. In 2014, the program was expanded to incorporate the parents of US-born children. Unlike Trump’s immigration policy, President Obama’s policy was more accommodating and tolerant toward undocumented immigrants.

Pros and cons of immigration

One of the advantages of immigration is economic boost. In many states, immigrants contributed significantly to economic growth because they pay taxes and provide low-skilled labor. The majority of low-paying jobs that Native Americans avoid are taken up by immigrants. Immigrants also enlarge the labor market because they work in areas such as manufacturing and agriculture, which are shunned by many Americans. Immigration has cons too. One of the main issues regarding immigration is terrorism. Numerous cases of recent terrorist attacks have been linked to immigrants. The number of illegal immigrants is on the rise. In many states, undocumented immigrants enjoy health care services, and as a result, put pressure on the economies of the states. Opponents of immigration have argued that immigrants take jobs that should be reserved for Americans. They provide cheap labor that is under high demand in industries such as agriculture and manufacturing. Both sides have failed to reach a consensus, hence the heated debates about immigration going on in the political arena. Regardless of the side that wine the debate, immigration has both advantages and disadvantages. It is an issue that should be discussed with great caution.

Trump’s Immigration Policy

Immigration was one of the major issues that formed the foundation of President Trump’s campaign agenda. He promised to overhaul the immigration system in order to protect the jobs and wages of Americans. He argued that the influx of immigrants into the US was affecting the economic welfare of American citizens. President Trump has on many occasions supported the RAISE Act, which aims to restrict the entry of unskilled immigrants into the US. The Reforming America Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act is 2017 legislation that aims to cut the number of legal immigrants by 50%. The President has said that the Act will lower poverty and increase wages, which will help to improve the economy. Proponents of the Act argue that it will harm the economy because dependence on low-skilled legal immigrants will increase. Many industries that rely on immigrant workers will suffer because they will be compelled to raise wages. Many immigrants are living in fear of deportation because of Trump’s implementation of his stringent immigration policy.

Immigration Reforms

The deportation of undocumented immigrants is one of the steps taken by President Trump to address the immigration issue. The deportation drive has left many immigrants in fear. However, the President has promised to protect the more than 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to the united states by their parents. The four main areas that need reform include border security, chain migration, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, and the visa lottery. President Trump maintains that building a wall on the Mexican border is important in the enhancement of border security. The issue of immigration reform is controversial because there are many children and young people who are undocumented even though they were born in the United States. Trump has promised to protect such people because they assumed the US citizenship when they were born though to illegal immigrants.

Coffee farmer facing deportation

Andres Magana Ortiz is an example of President Trump’s resolution to crack down on illegal immigrants. Ortiz was deported after living in the United States for 28 years. He came to the country through he help of human traffickers. His wife is an American citizen, and despite his efforts to fight the deportation, the Trump administration rejected his request for legal status. The process to deport Ortiz was commenced during the Obama administration. He was granted multiple stays during the former regime but the current crackdown on illegal immigrants finalized his deportation process. In 2014, he was allowed to stay in the country as he sought permanent citizenship. His efforts were unsuccessful, and a request for stay was rejected without any explanation form the immigration department. The deportation was conducted in disregard for his immense role in the growth of the coffee industry in Hawaii. The deportation was controversial because some political leaders argued that people like Ortiz who are important community leaders should not be imported. Regardless of the pleas, Ortiz was deported to Mexico and will not be allowed into the US before ten years lapse. Ortiz is a good example of an immigrants who used the opportunity to come to the US to pursue the American Dream. He went from picking fruits to owning a 20-acre coffee farm and managing other 15 smaller farms.

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Trump’s immigration enforcement

One of President Trump’s strategy to enforce immigration policy is to deport illegal immigrants. This deportation has been criticized because it is being conducted in disregard for the contributions to society by certain immigrants. For example, Ortiz has contributed significantly to his community in Hawaii. A senior court judge called him a pillar of his community for his immense contributions to Hawaii’s coffee industry. Defenders of Ortiz argued that immigrants who have made considerable economic contributions should not be deported but should instead be issued with citizenship. Ortiz collaborated with the United States Department of Agriculture to conduct studies in order to improve coffee farming in the US. Moreover, the growth of the Hawaii coffee industry can be attributed primarily to his efforts in the last few decades. Many Americans are worried that Trump’s immigration reforms might harm the US because he proposes to eradicate DACA and impose travel bans. President Trump believes that immigration should be merit-based.

Effects of Ortiz’s deportation

Opponents of Trump’s deportation drive argue that it is unfair and it could have negative effects on America. The deportation of Ortiz caused a political uproar because he was a key pillar of the Hawaii coffee industry. Hawaii has a famous immigration history because a large percentage of its population is comprised of immigrants. The US economy will suffer because employers will become overly dependent on a small number of immigrants that will not meet the high demand for low-skilled labor. Illegal immigrants are always willing to take the jobs that native Americans are unwilling to take. In industries like agriculture, there is high demand for low-skilled labor, which is usually provided by immigrants. Ortiz was separated from his family despite having lived in the US for the past 28 years. Immigrants are living in fear of deportation because the Trump administration is serious about the promise to eject illegal immigrants from the United States. This seriousness is evident from the rejection of pleas by Hawaii’s congressional delegation to stop the deportation of Ortiz. The deportation is an example of the complexity of United States’ immigration policy because Ortiz is married to an American citizen. He promised to appeal because his marriage to an American citizen was enough to stop the deportation. The removal of Ortiz from the US has been described as inhumane because he was not given reasons for the rejection of his stay request. His family will struggle keeping his business alive.

Conclusion

Immigration has been a hotly debated issue for several years in the US. Opponents argue that the government needs to restrict the entry of individuals from other countries while proponents urge the government to allow more immigrants into the country. The deportation of Ortiz has received public attention because even though he has lived in the US for 28 years, he was deported to Mexico and separated from his family. The current deportation drive by the Trump administration has caused fear among immigrants. The government is deporting any individual who entered the US illegally even though they are productive members of their communities. The deportations have been criticized because they might harm the economy. It is important for the government to deal with immigration cautiously. Deportations have the potential to harm families because of separation. Children born in the US to illegal immigrant parents are American citizens and cannot be deported. However, their parents are deported because they are undocumented. Many families are living in fear of separation.

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