The Flaws of the United States Immigration System

By Riley Pult

The process of immigration within the United States is heavily debated by politicians and citizens. The country has divided the topic so much that almost every president makes an effort to rewrite the system during their short, 4-year term. Even with the policies of immigration changing constantly, no one has mastered the proper way to deal with the immigration system in the United States. There are extreme flaws that make this process extensive, biased, and unfair. The branches of government that have power are disproportionate, making the system even more complicated. The process of obtaining immigration cards like visas or green cards can be unequal. However, there are ways to fix the unethical system. While there is no one perfect solution, there are undeniable changes that can be made to improve the ways we welcome immigrants into this country. The immigration system in the US is corrupt and needs to be rebuilt as soon as possible to help immigrants crossing America’s border. Richard Blanco, an immigrant from Spain, even stated: “that story of the immigrant in America”.

As mentioned earlier, there is a serious imbalance between the judicial, legislative, and executive branches when it comes to who has power over immigration practices. Legally, the articles that grant branches the power are overlapped and skewed making things incredibly unclear. “Because the concept of separation of powers is not preserved or defined in the Article I immigration legal system, there is a significant threat to Article I immigration judges’ judicial independence in fairly and impartially presiding immigration cases”. This conflict in articles leads the judicial branch to not have as much power as it should when it comes to making decisions. The majority of the decision-making is left to Congress, under the legislative branch. It’s a slow process to get things changed since constant requests are trying to get approval to rewrite parts of the system. The inner workings and legality that control the immigration system of the United States puts too much power into the legislative and executive branches and not enough into the judicial branch. 

Since the immigration system already has issues lying below the surface in the articles stating how it runs, it only makes sense that there are even more issues that arise as the process becomes more personal. When immigrants go to apply for residency, there are an obscene amount of requirements that they must meet, and even with those requirements met, they aren’t ensured residency. “Each year thousands of people apply for LPR [Lawful Permanent Residents] status, but the United States limits the number of immigrants that it admits. It is not unheard of for an immigrant to wait several years to receive an immigrant visa number, which identifies the immigrant as an LPR”. This lengthy process is often too long for some people to wait, causing them to choose to immigrate illegally instead. An illegal/undocumented immigrant is someone who moves to a country but does not follow the immigration laws of that country. A system that keeps families together, in fact, one that makes sure that families stay together should be implemented. This extreme fault is morally wrong and needs to be changed. 

The groundwork of how the immigration process works and its flaws have been explored. But it should not be left at that, there are ways to fix the United States’ immigration system. While there may not be one definite answer, it is still possible to make it better. One proposed idea to change the immigration system comes from a Harvard professor. The professor claims “changing the current structure of the immigration legal system into a structure similar to the adjudication system of the National Labor Relations Board” would be the best fit. This means that there would be five adjudicators within each jurisdiction. This would make the decision of residency for immigrants less biased since more opinions are involved in the decision. Along with having five adjudicators, there would also be a general council that could go in and approves the decision that the adjudicators make. However, this would only be necessary if they are questioned. One more thing that can be done to the system is to add a separation of powers to the articles. This would balance out the power that the legislative, executive, and judicial branches have. By evening out the power of the immigration system, it keeps it from being overrun by a particular branch of government. Adding more people to the system would also be beneficial because it can help expedite the process of handing out residencies. There are many ways to fix the immigration system, but it is about finding the best fit. 

Immigration is what started this country and making sure that immigrants can still enter our free country is something that should concern people. Being aware of how the system works and is failing motivates people to have compassion for those coming through the system, making people want to change it. Being aware of the stance political figures take on immigration can be a telling factor as to how they are going to change the system or not change it. Writing to your local congressman about your concerns is also a step that can be taken to change the system for the better. There are many possibilities that we average people can take to change the immigration process in the United States. 

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