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Solution to Immigration Reform Must Include Path to Citizenship

by Henry Flatt, published

Protesters marching in support of the Arizona Dream Act // Credit: Connor Radnovich Protesters marching in support of immigration reform // Credit: Connor Radnovich

The constantly shifting demographic composition of the Untied States necessitates new laws to govern the persistently changing population. As immigrants continue to enter America’s borders both legally and illegally, the need to update our anachronistic immigration laws has become all the more apparent.

With broad political support for passing a new immigration bill, it is imperative that the US Congress answers this mandate by passing modernized immigration legislation. Having over 10 million people within our borders living in the shadows is unjust, and widespread reform is the only logical next step to remedy the problem.

Because these are undocumented workers, employers who hire their services frequently abuse their illegal status and pay them egregiously low wages.

Senator John McCain, who recently said in a statement on the floor of the Senate, “The fact are that 11 million people live in the shadows in de-facto amnesty and are being exploited every single day. Shouldn’t it be…to bring these people out of the shadows?” Injustice lies in not passing immigration reform.

California residents should feel even more compelled to pass a path to citizenship; it is estimated that 23% of the nation’s illegal immigrants are within California’s borders. In perspective, California’s population is eight percent of the entire country. Enacting widespread legislation and updating our woefully outdated immigration laws is important for the United States citizens as a whole, but it is even more so for Californians.

Continuing to allow over one fifth of our state’s population to live under the veil of undocumented status is both unsustainable and morally negligent. Providing amnesty and a path to citizenship to the nearly 11 million people living with undocumented status is not the one of many logical solutions, it is the only one.

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