Raising the Floor for American Workers
Over the past two decades the government of the United States has tried to bring to a halt U.S-Mexico unauthorized immigration through the enforcement measures. This law enforcement strategy has only resulted in negative instead of positive outcomes. This is a summary of analytical evaluation of the enforcement of immigration policy implications. Moreover, it elucidates the main lessons that can be drawn from the introduction of Immigration Reform Control Act (IRCA) of 1986.
The current enforcement policy to curb unauthorized immigration in U.S has failed. The government is spending a lot of money to deter unauthorized immigrant workers through enhanced immigration policy and law enforcement mechanisms. Despite these efforts, the number of unauthorized immigrant workers continues to persist. Thus, immigration-related complications have emerged. Since 1992, the U.S federal government has spent billions of money on the U.S border patrol, as well as on the custom and border protection. None of these efforts has showed any significant results. In fact, studies reveal that the number of immigrants has even tripled from 3.5 million in 1990 to 11.9 million in 2008.
There are claims that enforcement of the policy on the unauthorized immigration has led to a sudden surge in death rate of immigrants. Such lethal cases are associated with accidents resulting from perilous routes, such as mountains and deserts that immigrants consider as alternative entry points into the United States of America. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported that deaths related to illegal border-crossing have doubled since the immigration policy was hastened.
Enforcement of immigration policy has also led to the rise in the number of smugglers. Restriction over the U.S-Mexico border has led to the closure of traditional routes and opened other alternative safe avenues for the smugglers. Other challenges are poor wages paid to immigrant workers, which made it difficult for such workers to survive in the U.S.
Lessons from Enforcement of the Immigration Reform and Control Act. In 1986, The U.S government decided to legalize about 1.7 million and 1.3 million unauthorized immigrants through General Legalization Program and Special Agricultural Workers Program respectively. Many immigrants benefited from this decision. They earned a lot of money, which enabled them to pursue further experiences. This positioned them for better job and higher salaries. The higher salaries increased the consumer purchasing capabilities and, hence, increased tax revenue to the government. Therefore, the government could have benefited more of taxation on the immigrants if only it had created supple regulations on unauthorized immigrants.
Proposed Immigration Policy Reforms. The federal government may adopt the comprehensive immigration policy reform. This policy permits unauthorized immigrants to apply for the permanent or temporary U.S citizenship. After successful registration, the applicant can enjoy full labor rights. This way, registered immigrants earn legitimate wages as the government also benefits from tax revenues of such registered immigrants.
The federal government can also decide to adopt a program for temporary workers only. This policy allows the current unauthorized and future temporary workers to enjoy limited labor rights. This would reduce the wages of unauthorized immigrants. Increased labor demands would then lead to listing of many immigrants for employment, although at lower wage levels.
The U.S. government can also decide to implement the Mass Deportation Policy. This policy would mean deportation of current unauthorized immigrants back to Mexico. It is estimated that enforcement of this policy would lead to expulsion of almost 4 million immigrant workers back to their native lands. This move is, however, likely to create shortage of labor force in the long run. This would adversely affect industrial production to a large extent. In accordance with the facts, it is the worst policy that the U.S. government can decide to implement.
In conclusion, legalization of unauthorized immigrant workers has remarkable benefits. For example, it will lead to a rise in labor wages, increased demand for consumer goods, employment creation, and increased government tax revenue. Therefore, the 1986 ICRA reform is good for the country since it supports legalization immigrants.
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