Immigration has long been a contentious issue in the USA, shaping the country’s history and playing a significant role in its current political and social landscape. The US is a nation of immigrants, and immigration continues to be a source of growth and diversity for the country. However, it also raises complex and challenging questions about the nation’s policies, values, and resources.

The current state of immigration in the USA is marked by policies that are both restrictive and controversial, with enforcement practices that have come under scrutiny. Debates around immigration reform are passionate and multifaceted, encompassing economic, social, and political considerations.

With the Pew Research Center reporting that 13.7% of the US population was born in another country, immigration has become an increasingly prominent topic in the national conversation, with a growing recognition of the need for a more just and humane approach to immigration policy. 

However, you should know that the percentage of immigrants living in the US reached its heights a long time ago in 1890, with 14.8%.

This article aims to provide an overview of the current state of immigration in the USA, including a discussion of current immigration policies, debates around immigration reform, and efforts toward a more equitable and effective immigration system. 

Current Policies & Enforcement 

President Biden has sought to overturn many of the policies implemented by the Trump presidency after assuming office, including halting the construction of the border wall in 2022. However, in yet another display of partisan divide, many of his programs have also been tied up in a number of legal proceedings. 

Much heat has been generated in recent years by the overly aggressive ICE raids and from the pictures of children being put in cages on the border. The ensuing debate and political tug-of-war have made it seem like Americans are almost equally divided into two groups, one that supports immigration and one that is passionately against it. 

In a survey conducted by Gallup, 70% of people said they think immigration is good for the country, against 24% who said it was a bad thing. But regarding the level of immigration into the country, 31% said it should stay at the current level, 38% said it should decrease, and 27% said it should be increased. The key takeaway from all these numbers is that the opinions of Americans are far more complex than a simple yes or no. 

It is important to remember that while there are strong arguments on both sides regarding the immigration issue, we have to remember that we are talking about real people with real families and loved ones. Reducing them to political talking points or numbers rather than properly examining how we can collectively improve the situation might be a big reason this issue is so difficult to solve in the first place. 

Debates Around Immigration Reform

When it comes to immigration in the USA, there’s no shortage of debate and disagreement. Immigration reform is a complex issue that touches on many aspects of American life, including economics, security, and social values. There are many different perspectives and opinions on what the right approach to immigration should be, and these debates can get heated.

Some people rightly point out that there is no shortage of legal methods of immigration into the country. A law office can help people understand their rights and legally migrate. Undocumented migrants destabilize the carefully controlled system of letting people in and can take jobs away from the local population. Needless to say, it also poses a question of national security. 

However, when we talk about the economic impact of immigration, we need to also remember that most of these immigrants hold jobs and contribute to the economy. According to New American Economy, 96.7% of undocumented Mexican immigrants are employed in important sectors like agriculture and construction. They earn $92 billion in household income that they later spend and contribute $9.8 billion in taxes. 

Therefore, as you can see, simply removing these people from the country will have a significant impact on the economy. Striking a balance between granting asylum to people in danger and protecting the interest of the native population of the country is a difficult task. It is made doubly difficult by the fact that many undocumented workers already live and work in the US. 

Efforts Toward Immigration Reform 

Despite the complex and often divisive debates surrounding immigration, there have been many efforts in recent years to address the broken immigration system and move towards a more equitable and effective solution. These efforts come in many forms and are driven by a wide range of individuals and organizations, including government officials, immigrant rights groups, and concerned citizens.

One of the most notable recent efforts has been the push for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level. This has included legislation aimed at providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, improving border security, and streamlining the legal immigration process. 

However, the Council on Foreign Relations notes that there has not been comprehensive immigration-related legislation passed by Congress since 1986, back when Ronald Reagan was President. Interestingly enough, while tightening border security, he also granted amnesty to migrants who had entered the country before 1982, something not generally associated with President Reagan. 

It’s worth noting that in addition to federal, state, and local governments, there are also many grassroots and community-based organizations working to support immigrants and advocate for reform. These organizations, which often consist of immigrants and their allies, play an important role in raising awareness about immigration issues and pushing for change.

Immigration remains a controversial issue in the USA. It is indeed a very complicated issue that requires calm-headed debate and discussion not usually seen in the halls of Congress. Hopefully, if people become more aware of the complexity of this issue, we will demand real solutions that seek to help asylum seekers while keeping the interest of the local population in mind instead of falling for a political stunt to win votes.