Top Pro & Con Arguments


The United States needs to enforce immigration laws already in place.

The United States already has a path to citizenship. The country has laws that clearly state who may enter the country for what reasons and under what circumstances, and by what process they may become US citizens. [55]

The United States also already has a penalty for people who break those laws. The penalty for “unlawful presence” is deportation and a three- or ten-year time bar for legal reentry. For repeat violations, immigrants may be permanently barred from the United States. [56] [57]

Though difficult to accurately count, the Department of Homeland Security estimated 11.4 million undocumented immigrants in the US in 2018. According to Migration Policy Institute estimates, there were about 11 million in 2019. The Center for Immigration Studies estimated 11.35 million in 2022. [58] [59] [60]

Of those undocumented immigrants, only 320,000 migrants have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) (with the potential for 588,335 others to gain that status depending upon Biden Administration classifications for their home countries). TPS is “a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of certain countries experiencing problems that make it difficult or unsafe for their nationals to be deported to those countries.” [61] [62]

Those numbers do not include the 29,916 refugees or 46,508 people granted asylum either via pre-arrival application or asking for asylum at the border upon undocumented arrival in 2019. [63]

Even with rough estimates, that leaves over 10 million undocumented immigrants without legal permission to be in the country. In what other situation does the United States look the other way about 10 million instances of broken laws? [55]

As indicated by the 1986 IRCA, any kind of amnesty only deals with the immediate issue–the undocumented immigrants in the country at that time–and does nothing to resolve the ongoing illegal immigration problem. [64]

The United States needs to enforce the laws on the books, send a clear no-entry message to other immigrants who may try to enter the country illegally in the future, and restore the country’s image as one of laws. [64]

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