Section I. Title
This Act may be cited as the “Reforming American Immigration Act of 2019” and is sponsored by Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham, who represents the state of South Carolina. Senator Lindsey Graham has long supported a comprehensive immigration reform. One that increases the number of legal immigrants as well as the number of visas for skilled workers. Graham supports a system that deports any criminals currently living here illegally. Amnesty may be granted to some of the individuals here without a green card, but ultimately the top priority should be securing the nations borders.
Section II. The Contents and Goals of the Bill
The purpose of this bill is reform and modernize the current immigration policies of the United States. To focus on stronger border security as well as encourage a more diverse spectrum of immigrants to enter this country from all across the world. This bill would allow for a more transparent system to legally immigrate and encourage more immigrants to enter through this process, rather than feel the need to attempt to crossover illegally. The current immigration system puts a strong emphasis on admitting immigrants to reunite families as well as fill employment needs. This bill would transition the system to prioritize immigrants who are educated and or qualified for employment. Increasing the amount of immigrants who possess a trade skill or are certified in a specialty field such as STEM, agriculture, or construction. This transition would highlight the economic needs of the nation and reinvigorate economic growth nationwide, rather than act as an element of randomness. In earlier history there was a demand for basic labor – factories, railroads and farming were the major sectors of employment. Todays society has transitioned away from this and has shown that technology, modern farming and a more service oriented economy are in high demand. The United States doesn’t need low skilled workers to build railroads, they need individuals skilled in fields like quantum computing or capable of inventing new technology to keep up with the American consumers demand. An equal number of immigrants would be granted from each continent to stress the diversity this great nation was built upon. Bringing light to underprivileged areas, yet still being fair to those in first world countries. A clearer and more effective background check will be taken to stimulate moral and beneficial immigrants, while restricting people with criminal histories. This step strengthens security and inspires law abiding individuals to populate amongst this great nation. Also permitting people with clean backgrounds will help to reduce crime across the country. Additionally steps will be taken to make it easier to apply for citizenship or residence in the country. These steps will discourage people from attempting to flee into the country illegally. Currently a lottery system is used to grant Green Cards for residence in the United States. The lottery adds an element of chance, rather than accepting the best candidates to enter the country. This is discouraging for potential candidates because it doesn’t benefit individuals who are more valuable to American Society. Finally increasing the number of green cards annually, as well as increasing the number of work visas each year will effectively advocate to people around the world that this country is supportive and accepting of immigrants as long as you come here legally.
The purpose of this bill is to reform a system that currently doesn’t ensure the interests of the American people. It is necessary to make certain that this country promotes a legal, safe and humane group of individuals. While there are some who may oppose this bill because it does not focus upon families or granting amnesty to those who are here illegally, steps will be taken to ensure those here illegally now and have acted in a appropriate manner will not be deported. It is understood that many of the young people brought here as children did not choose to enter in the manner they did and they will not be subject to punishments for the actions of their guardians. Submission of a “residence claim”, by a predetermined date will be necessary in order to continue to live amongst this country. With that being said in order to tightly control our borders and inspire this new system to followed, going forward amnesty will not be granted for any alien attempting cross over the border illegally. A predetermined number of immigrants will be set forth for those trying to reconcile with their families so long as they achieve employment or educational qualifications. Both parties recognize that immigration and diversity are important ideals this nation was founded upon, but this bill is to set forth a method of acquiring safety and freedom across the United States. Politics aside, both parties understand how essential border security is and the threat that not strengthening our border poses to national security. We must unify and fulfill this obligation to the citizens of the United States by funding border security and broadcasting a new immigration system that fuels individuals to follow. Increasing the number of immigrants and work visas will also give hope to those around the world that their goal to enter this country will be satisfied. In todays society with a declining and aging workforce, more citizens are needed to fill the void and fund future retirements. The “Baby Boomer” generation didn’t have enough children to fund the social security demands of this nation, which has put future generations at risk of not receiving these benefits. Furthermore more taxpayers are needed to offset the irresponsible spending by both parties and begin reducing the major debt the United States has. All of these elements make it clear that a new and revised immigration system is necessary in this country.
Section III. Supporters among interests groups
A multitude of interest groups will push for the bill to pass. First and foremost large tech companies such as Microsoft or Intel, who have previously been linked to promoting immigration reform will be strong supporters. Because this bill focuses on shifting towards a system that prioritizes educated or qualified individuals especially in the STEM fields, a considerable desire for these workers will push these companies to support it’s passing. The thought that they can hire these new immigrants at a lower wage, will push the tech industry to fund its authorization. Also with the technology field growing every day in todays society, the need for individuals in the STEM fields is necessary in order to keep up with the rapidly growing sector. Other interest groups include private prisons and private security contractors who stand to gain off border security. Many of the private prisons across the United States are used as detention centers for illegal immigrants and these prisons make substantial profits off doing so. Stricter immigration laws would equate to larger profits amongst private prisons and private security who work towards finding and detaining illegal immigrants. For example, according to OpenSecrets.org, since 2017, CoreCivic, has received over $225 million in funding from Immigration and Customs to manage immigrant detention facilities. This mass amount of funding would fuel CoreCivic and other similar private prison contractors to push the bill through Congress. While many would argue the demand for private prisons will decline with stricter border security, implementing legislation that explicitly punish illegal immigrants will fuel private security contractors to fund these proposed plans. Another key group of interest groups would include organizations based on the principles of reform. For example the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is an association centered around anti immigration. FAIR is an establishment that prides itself on advocating for a well thought out and enforced immigration system and has spent over $1.5 million since 2016 federally lobbying (West, opensecrets.org). Each of these interest groups all have large cash flow, which can be used to push the bills forward. Tech giants such as Microsoft stand to gain hundreds of millions of dollars through this new collection of individuals and understand the need for innovation.
Section IV. Strongest bill opponents
Beyond just stating the opposing party, there will be opposition towards this bill by a collection of individuals and organizations. Many of the Democratic primary candidates such as Senator Harris and Senator Bernie Sanders have been incredibly vocal in promoting a DACA bill. Their campaigning on a platform that promotes giving citizenship to DACA members as well as moving away from border funding. These two stances starkly contrast this bill and in many regards promote illegal immigration. Other representatives such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar have both described their policy to be against the criminalization of illegal immigrants. They stand to promote an easier system for undocumented people to gain citizenship and vouch for opposing border security and organizations such as ICE. All of these individuals want a pathway to immigration easier for individuals who didn’t follow the current procedures. They all control a huge voice across the media and could stand as huge threats to the passing of the proposed bill. Media influence is an essential aspect in todays politics and negative media attention could complicate swinging the votes of the moderate representatives. While the individuals listed before are all essentially a lost cause in garnering support, more moderate left wing candidates could be deemed “winnable”. It can be argued that the less radical members of Congress would be open to negotiation in order to make prominent gains on their side too. Cutting deals to help out DACA members could certainly sway their votes. Many sectors of employment such as the agriculture and construction stand to gain a lot from legal and illegal immigrants. They are able to pay low skilled individuals residing here at incredibly cheap costs. “Since 2008, political contributions from agribusiness and construction industries combined have totaled more than $1 billion. Individuals, political action committees (PACs), and companies or trade groups within the construction industry have offered up more than $543 million in contributions”(Geoff, opensecrets.org). These fields of work would generate a lot of opposition towards the bill and would fund many lobbyists against pushing the bill through. This bill poses a threat to their huge profit margins, which they certainly don’t intend to lose.
Section V. Some ideas that might have to be avoided or worked-around for some members of opposition.
In todays society, politics has become so divided that pushing a bill through can be incredibly difficult. Parties often support and oppose the passing of legislation strictly on the basis of what party is promoting it, rather than the actual substantive ideas. Because of this, many deals and changes may have to be made in order for the opposition to pass this bill. Incorporating support for DACA recipients to gain citizenship might be a necessary step in order to compromise. Working around not prioritizing reuniting families may also be a crucial step, due to democrats valuing this highly. Although if this proves to be ineffective, setting aside a predetermined number of immigrants for those trying to reconcile with their families could be a step to take in order to swing more votes. Since this bill is more conservative in it’s ideals and is sponsored by a Republican Senator, it will likely pass through the Republican controlled Senate, but many Representatives from the House must be won over in order for it to pass through the House too. Since the Democratic party controls the majority in the House of Representatives, they control the majority on every standing committee in the House, which will prove incredibly difficult to overcome. Due to this, it may be in the interests to make the proposed bill more moderate in the interests of those committees. Multiple referrals of the proposed bill to different committees may also benefit it being passed. Putting all the efforts on one committee in the House of Representatives could result in the bill dying and never making it to the floor for a vote.