COMMENTARY | Politicians have been talking about dealing with the topic of illegal immigration for many years. Now, President Obama has decided to take action to try and remedy the problem. According to Reuters, “U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Friday that illegal immigrants up to 30 years old who came to the United States as children and do not pose a risk to national security would be eligible to stay in the country and allowed to apply for work permits.”
Will This Action Help to Solve the Illegal Immigration Problem?
The topic of illegal immigration is one that almost divides the entire country. You have people who say that the unemployment rate is high and that illegal immigrants are trying to steal jobs from hard-working, legal American workers. Then, there are Hispanic people who say that America is about freedom and that illegal immigrants should not have to live in the shadows and fear getting deported.
Many individuals who cross the border illegally and enter the United States are doing so to provide for their families. They typically work on farms and earn extremely low wages so that they can ship any money home to their families.
Children who were brought to the United States illegally will now be able to get work permits so that they can legally stay in the country and earn a living. It is a good first step but it can have drawbacks. The job market is bad right now and getting even an entry level position can be difficult.
Will President Obama Hurt or Help His Chances of Being Re-Elected?
This move by President Obama will likely help sway Hispanic voters to vote to re-elect him. It is important for Obama to secure the Hispanic vote because every year the population of the group increases. It is important for him to show that he is not only decisive but can also create different policies that help people. The immigration system in the United States is broken and allowing people to get work permits could help the economy.
With an influx of illegal immigrants becoming legal workers, the amount of taxes that they pay will help to give the economy a boost. It also could increase consumer spending and allow retail and other businesses to thrive again.
This move might not go over with some voters because they might feel that these people are not “paying their dues” to become legal workers. Time will tell if this move helps or hurts the President.