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Immigration Issues: The Top 13
Both Sides of the Leading Immigration Issues
Immigration Issues: They inspire heated debate. During the last presidential election the left and right were divided on some immigration issues, partially united on others. But controversy still abounds. Find out where President Bush stands, and where he differs from the left on numerous immigration issues from work visas to amnesty...
#1 - The guest worker program has been the most hotly debated immigration issue in recent years. It's also been the main point of contention in all recent bills related to immigrants and foreign visitors. So what is it? The program would allow illegal aliens and new arrivals to work in the USA, but only temporarily. Referring to it as "amnesty," most Republicans believe this gives border hoppers a free ride. But it doesn't. "Amnesty," means all is forgiven and green cards are awarded. In the guest worker program, there are limits, restrictions and a temporary status. In fact, Democrats feel it's not enough because it is, in fact, only temporary:
Both Sides of this immigration issue: Guest/Farm Workers
#2 - Public assistance for immigrants? After the tough 1996 laws passed and signed by President Clinton, most immigrants are either not eligible for public assistance, or must wait an exceedingly long time before they can legally get them. Of course, there are always loopholes and illegal ways to get benefits. Immigrant advocates argue that it's inhumane to withhold certain economic and medical benefits. Opponents say immigrants are tapping the system too much as it is.
Both Sides of this Immigration Issue: Welfare/Healthcare Benefits for Immigrants
#3 - Education for the undocumented? Should illegal immigrants be educated in public schools that taxpayers foot the bill for? Should they receive in-state tuition rates? If they can't be schooled, won't they simply add to the crime and welfare rates? A heated debate rages...
Both Sides of this Immigration Issue: Education for Illegals
#4 - Indefinite Detention
It's one of America's dirty little secrets. What do you think of when you hear the phrase "indefinite detention?" Most of us tend to envision drug dealers, human smugglers or terrorists. But thousands of men, women and children who are caught crossing the border are held for years on end awaiting deportation. Does this punishment really fit the crime? And is it OK to deny undocumented aliens any due process?
Both Sides of this Immigration Issue: Indefinite Detention of Deportable Aliens
#5 - H-1B and L-1 visas are both popular for high-tech jobs, as well as engineering, medical and other skilled professions. While we drain the brains of India and other third world countries, American workers say their jobs are being stolen from them by foreigners. Employers argue that they can't find the workers they need here. What gives?
Both Sides of this Immigration Issue: Caps on Professional Work Visas
#6 - Visitor tracking: Is it fair and ethical to track and fingerprint your average innocent visitor for security purposes? Or does this sound too much like Big Brother in George Orwell's "1984" - There are heated opinions all around.
Both Sides of this Immigration Issue: Visitor Tracking
#7 - Illegals made legal? Should thousands upon thousands of undocumented immigrants be "forgiven" and afforded legal status in the United States so that the U.S. government can know and control who is in the country? Or does this reward and encourage law breaking?
Both Sides of this Immigration Issue: Amnesty
#8 - Unpaid immigrant medical care and the U.S. economy: Opponents of government benefits for immigrants argue that it costs us billions. Immigrant advocates say that's nonsense, and that immigrants--legal or otherwise--put a great deal back into the economy. Both Sides of this Immigration Issue: Immigrant Healthcare's Impact on the U.S. Economy
#9 - Citizenship for military personnel: If a foreigner risks his life to defend and protect the United States and its citizens, should that individual automatically be made a citizen? If not, how much privilege should they be given in their applications?
#10 - English - an official language for the U.S.? Should English be the official language of the U.S.? Should it be the one and only? How about Spanish?
Both Sides of the Debate: English as Official Language / Bilingual Education
#11 - U.S. border security: We all want safer borders. But at what cost? Agents and migrants are being killed in border towns. Control is a challenging issue, loaded with ethical dilemmas, humanitarian and safety hazards.
Both Sides of this Immigration Issue: Border Control
#12 - A legal driver's license for an illegal resident? Would it be better to test, register and license illegal immigrant drivers, or to let them remain under the radar, driving illegally?
Both Sides of this Immigration Issue: Driver's Licenses for Immigrants
#13 - "Backlog" is a 7-letter word, and one that makes anyone going through the green card process cringe. What are lawmakers planning to do to reduce it, and can they ever agree? Both Sides of this Immigration Issue: Visa/Green Card Backlog
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