Illegal immigration has become a serious problem in America in the last twenty years. Its impact is felt by all Americans. It has become even a bigger problem with the onset of the recession in 2007 which limited the number of jobs the economy is creating. This resulted in resentment among Americans towards illegal immigrants who were holding jobs that lawfully belonged to American citizens. An illegal immigrant is defined as anyone who migrates to a country for a permanent residence without any form of identification. There are many problems which develop, including overpopulation, rising crime rates and unemployment. Questions are the asked as to who should really take responsibility for the illegal immigrants. Is it the governments in their countries of origin for not being able to provide jobs for their citizens, is it the employers here in the U.S who employs illegal immigrants or is it the government that has failed to use the law to secure our borders? This paper will show that the government and therefore the president as its head is to blame for the problem of illegal immigrants.
Over the years, the presidents we have had since Ronald Reagan have contributed to the problem of immigrants either by commission or omission. In 1986 the then president signed the The Immigration Reform Act of 1986 that granted amnesty and legal status to illegal immigrants who were already in the United States (Wepman 218). That action lessened the weight the issue of the illegal immigration carries and acted as a reward to the illegal immigrants. It also sent signals to the people out in other countries that if you are able to come to America through whichever means, you status may be legalized later. From thence the number of illegal immigrants has been soaring. After Reagan came Bush Senior and Clinton thereafter. Both are blamed for doing little if any to protect the boundaries of the United States. The southern boundaries, the crossing for Mexicans who contribute 85% of the illegal immigrants was left to a skeleton of staff that was barely enough to secure the border. It therefore acted as an easy entry to illegal immigrants. Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton therefore failed in their duty as presidents to use the power of their offices to secure the borders.
After Clinton came G.W. Bush. While Bush Jr. did a lot in securing the borders, he nevertheless failed to do it early enough and also carries the blame for trying to pass an amnesty bill that would have opened citizenship to illegal immigrants. With Bush’s exit came Obama. In an address at American University, Obama admitted the Immigration admitted that the Immigration law is deficient, that it needed immediate improvement. This is an excerpt from his speech found on the Nowpublic website;
"This administration will not simply kick the can down the road and that applies to immigration reform...The system is broken and everyone knows it."
Obama himself had tried to downplay the effect of the effect of the immigrants’ problem in his 2008 election campaign as quoted on the BBC website;
For all the noise and anger that too often surrounds the immigration debate, America has nothing to fear from today’s immigrants. They have come here for the same reason that families have always come here--for the hope that in America, they could build a better life for themselves and their families. Like the waves of immigrants that came before them and the Hispanic Americans whose families have been here for generations, the recent arrival of Latino immigrants will only enrich our country.
It is therefore clear that it the presidents; the commander-in-chief that should carry the greatest responsibility for not doing enough to curb waves of illegal immigrants. As to why they fail to do it, it can be traced to the U.S politics. Most of the illegal immigrants are South Americans and chiefly Mexicans. They therefore have a relation with the U.S Hispanic population. Since the Hispanics form a sizeable number of the U.S electorates, the presidents fail to act on the illegal immigrants in order to win favor from the Hispanic electorate.