The debate over the immigration reform has surfaced once again after the government shutdown. Now that the government is back up and running, Obama has mentioned that immigration is one of the top three items that he wants Congress to pass this year (“Unlike Shutdown, GOP Says Democrats Must Bend on Immigration”). In same article found in the USA Today, author Alan Gomez quotes the President as he says, “If the House has ideas on how to improve the Senate bill [on immigration], let's hear them. Let's start the negotiations!” (Cited by Gomez). Although Obama and other Democrats claim to be ready to tackle the issue, many Republicans leaders say that the inability of the White House to negotiate an end to the government shutdown has riled them, and if Democrats use the same tactics on this issue then they will fail to reach an agreement and the bill will not be addressed this year. The issue has been put off since many Republicans do not agree with Obama’s comprehensive approach to the immigration bill. What about those individuals who were brought to the United States illegally by their emigrating parents? Many of these children have spent their childhood years in this country and assimilated to the American way of life. Many speak English fluently, have been educated by the nation’s system, and see themselves as being American rather than their natural nationality. Yet, the law labels them as illegal immigrants and hinders them from pursuing the American dream. Although legislations have been passed to provide these undocumented individuals with a path to citizenship, the window of opportunity is limited. Therefore, undocumented immigrants, in California, who are temporarily protected under the Dream Act and Deferred action legislations, should be granted permanent legal status since most of these individuals have been in the United States since childhood and seek to improve their quality of life by being recognized under the law as what they are; American.
Americans have been instilled with fear of foreign people since the hideous terrorist attacks causing them to reject foreigners. In the article, “10 years later: How did the 9/11 attacks change America?,” a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, Michael Nacht, notes that “the most fundamental impact of 9/11 is the sense of permanent vulnerability that haunts residents” (Roibín Ó heochaidh). In the same article, James Patterson, a professor of history at Brown University, informs that the effects of the terrorist attacks live on in the minds of Americans and the laws passed shortly after reflected that. For example, Patterson states that the Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Transportation Security Administration were created two years after the attacks. The formation of these administrations and the Patriot act demonstrate increased security in response to the fear of foreign threats. In addition, the article “9/11 Lessons: Immigration policy” demonstrates that before the terrorist attacks immigration raised concerns about the U.S. economy, laws, and society; but now, the issues are dealing with the impact of immigration on national security (Alden). This fear doesn’t change the fact that the U.S. is a melting pot and Californian is home to more immigrants than any other state in the Union. The 2010 Census provided estimates of the immigrant population and found that almost 2.6 million of undocumented immigrants reside in the state of California and represent almost quarter of the nation’s illegal population (Hayes and Hill). This reflects the quantity of people that have entered the country illegally, and many of these individuals are children and teens. Some would argue that these children, who have grown up in the California, have had the privilege of a better life provided by their family’s migration; still, they are considered illegal under current laws and live each day in fear of deportation.