Could Citizen Sponsorship Solve The Undocumented Migrants Crisis
As the immigration debate continues, it has become clear that a fresh approach to immigration is needed. For starters, it’s important to separate the issue of future immigration from the undocumented migrants already living in the United States. The latter is a self-inflicted problem. For years, the United States attitude towards illegal immigrants has been inconsistent. One minute illegal immigrants and threatened with deportation, and the next they are offered the promise of amnesty.
One way to solve the problem would be to offer blanket amnesty for anyone already living in the USA, after all, they are already settled and it wouldn’t be seen as placing further pressure on public resources. The argument against this is that it would be seen as a snub to the people who have gone through the proper channels in order to emigrate to the country. It’s no secret that the immigration process is expensive and time-consuming, so those who followed the correct path might feel that this process was unnecessary.
Even if blanket amnesty isn’t an option, something needs to be done to prevent the growth of isolated migrant communities who cannot access public resources for fear of being caught and deported. One suggestion that has been put forward in an article on USA Today is to use sponsorship to encourage integration. The article, written by Bob Vander Plaats, CEO of The Family Leader, offers a community-based solution to the immigration problem.
When we think of immigration sponsorship, we often think of employers sponsoring workers for specific roles. This kind of sponsorship would be altogether more community-based. If ordinary Americans were able to sponsor illegal immigrants, it would encourage community-building at a grassroots level. Rather than handing immigration powers to the federal government and offering a blanket amnesty, the power is handed back to the American people.
Sponsorship wouldn’t have to be the only requirement, and lawmakers could also request things like English language requirements and clean criminal records as a requirement for sponsorship. Critics are quick to point out that such a system could only work if it was rolled out alongside stricter border controls, as it might encourage further illegal immigration if there is an easy route to citizenship.