According to the recent article in The Economist, successive governments have stood by as America became home to more than 11m unauthorised residents. If they were all in a single state it would be America’s eighth-largest by population, just behind Ohio. Many of those foreigners arrived years ago, working hard and bringing up American children. But their families have enjoyed only provisional futures, overshadowed by the original sin of a parent or parents who arrived without the right papers. Barack Obama now plans to shield many of these immigrants from the threat of deportation. Among other changes, his instructions to immigration authorities will allow the undocumented parents of American citizens or legal residents to apply for work permits—provided those parents have been in the United States for five years or more.
Mr Obama says he has acted because the country’s immigration system is broken. He has been attacked from the left as a “deporter-in-chief” after presiding over large numbers of removals as president. In 2013 America removed 369,000 undocumented migrants, a nine-fold increase compared with 20 years ago. Critics on the right call those statistics dubious, because the definition of “deportation” was changed to include the expulsion of fresh border-crossers. Either way, right and left can surely agree that it is not possible to find and deport all 11m migrants in the country without papers: priorities must be chosen.
The World Affairs Council of Harrisburg is planning to bring both sides (pro and against immigration reform) to the table to hear and discuss arguments of each position.
Join us for the important and hot discussion on immigration on February 25th at 6.30 pm at Turkish Cultural Center!
Reserve your ticket here – http://wacharrisburg.ticketleap.com/immigration-debate/