Oltarsh https://www.oltarsh.com Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:11:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Children Refugee Visas https://www.oltarsh.com/refugee+visas+ Fri, 03 Oct 2014 14:58:41 +0000 https://www.oltarsh.com/?p=5363 Continue reading "Children Refugee Visas"]]> OBAMA PLANS TO ALLOW CHILDREN FROM HONDURAS, GUATEMALA, AND EL SALVADORTO APPLY FOR REFUGEE VISAS WITHIN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES.

Thousands of children may now be able to apply as refugees within their own countries, in order to avoid the perils of a journey across Mexico to reach the American border. Border control centers set up by the U.S. in their countries will interview these children who have faced rape and gang violence at home and allow their entry in the U.S. to rejoin family members in the U.S.
In June 2014 more than 10,000 unaccompanied children presented themselves at the border, creating havoc among immigration officers who had to interview them, and to provide them lodging and caretaking.
Interviews in the countries beforehand would provide a more orderly process and avoid the dangers these children have undergone to get here via Mexico. These children could be admitted because they are members of a social group of children who are vulnerable and, who are or have been endangered by rampant crime and violence, and are not protected by the authorities in their countries.
The criteria has not yet been set as to what age up to these children be still considered children and what requirement must be met for these children to qualify as refugees.
By this salutary reform, children could be granted refugee status enabling them to avoid death threating circumstances due to drug trafficking, gangs that appear now to be spread out all over Central America and allow our consular or immigration offices in these countries to conduct an orderly process to review each case.

Fostering A New Relationship With Mexico https://www.oltarsh.com/fostering-a-new-relationship-with-mexico/ Mon, 15 Jul 2013 23:55:56 +0000 https://www.oltarsh.com/blog/?p=987 Continue reading "Fostering A New Relationship With Mexico"]]> Presidents Obama and Pena Nieto

The presidential elections in both the United States and Mexico have provided the countries with a rare opportunity for a fresh start. One much needed for both parties involved.

President Barack Obama was recently re-elected for another four-year term in the U.S., while Enrique Peña Nieto was voted president of Mexico.

Peña Nieto’s , a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), election ends the 12 year reign of the National Action Party (PAN) despite concerns that he will not uphold some of the democratic reforms instituted under the last president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon.

Those claims come alongside fears that a Peña Nieto’s administration will return to the “cronyism” that has come to define his party in the past.

Making New Connections

As part of an effort to put those claims to rest, as well as foster a more cordial and cooperative relationship with the United States, President Peña Nieto met with U.S. President Barack Obama in the White House on Tuesday, November 27th.

U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden also attended President Peña Nieto’s inauguration ceremony in Mexico on Saturday, December 1st.

The meeting between Obama and Peña Nieto was less than an hour long, but ran the gamut of topics from immigration reform to trade to energy reform.

The two presidents got an opportunity to form face-to-face impressions of each other and lay groundwork for the years to come.

Working towards a good relationship between the U.S. and Mexico is an intelligent move on the part of both countries, if for no other reason than the potential economic benefits to both sides.

Economics, Trade, and Energy

trade with mex

At the moment, the U.S. is Mexico’s largest trading partner, with eighty percent of the country’s total trade going to us.

Mexico is the U.S.’s third largest trading partner, and the recent manufacturing sector growth there has become a large incentive for business partnerships between the countries.

Both countries are also in the process of negotiating a trade agreement with Asia.

President Peña Nieto is also in favor of energy reforms through privatization of the energy industry in Mexico, as well as immigration reforms that would lead to granting citizenship to roughly six million Mexican immigrants already in the United States.

Challenging Reforms

Peña Nieto has also said that he backs Obama on strengthening the U.S. and Mexican border through strict laws against illegal immigration.

Both of these reform measures are aimed at helping the Mexican economy improve.

An economy which, according to U.S. economist Alberto Ramos, has a large (but currently “trapped”) growth potential.

Both of these reforms will also prove challenging to Obama and Peña Nieto because they are not likely to get through the houses of Congress in their respective countries without a heated debate and some degree of compromise.

The Drug Trade & Beyond

mexican drug trafficking

None of the above issues, or any kind of relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, can be addressed without talking about the elephant in the room: the increasingly violent “drug war” that has been raging in Mexico between the cartels and the Mexican government for more than a decade.

This war has claimed the lives of more than 50,000 people since it began and shows no signs of slowing down.

Awareness of this problem in the United States has reached a high point, with around 75% of Americans surveyed citing the drug war as a cause for concern when traveling to Mexico.

In the past, there have been conflicting opinions between our governments regarding the main cause of this drug war.

Some Mexican officials have said that it is the U.S.’s demand for drugs that is allowing the drug trade across the border to thrive, and that the U.S. government has not done enough to stop it on this end.

Peña Nieto plans to change the manner in which the Mexican government is fighting this war by shifting the focus to the street level and providing more training and responsibility to the police force rather than the military.

With Colorado and Washington recently legalizing marijuana for recreational use, one of the major drugs exported from Mexico, other states following suit may affect the drug trade from the U.S. end.

It will be a long, difficult journey for both countries, but it’s beginning seems to have an optimistic outlook.

Perhaps if that optimism is maintained, the U.S. and Mexico can achieve change.

How Do American’s Really Feel About Illegal Immigration? https://www.oltarsh.com/how-do-americans-really-feel-about-illegal-immigration Thu, 11 Jul 2013 23:37:51 +0000 https://www.oltarsh.com/blog/?p=971 Continue reading "How Do American’s Really Feel About Illegal Immigration?"]]> views on illegal immigration

Illegal immigration is one of the hot button issues of 2012 along with gay marriage and the legality of marijuana.

With President Barack Obama’s re-election, who has made immigration a major priority in his own campaign, it is likely going to remain a major issue throughout the upcoming year.

While public opinion may be somewhat divided, and not surprisingly by political party and location, recent polls show that many Americans may be softening when it comes to immigration.

Certain states like Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico feel the effects of illegal immigration more than others however, illegal immigration is an issue for all states, and there are supporters and detractors everywhere.

Tainted Perception: Images of Illegal Immigrants Fading

In the past, illegal immigration has been an issue partly because of the fear of average Americans.

immigration vs crime

Many Americans believed that allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens would increase drug-related crime and issues in the United States.

The blame for this negative image has little to do with real statistics and more to do with fear-mongering among certain political groups and outsiders.

The truth is, the amount of drug-related crimes doesn’t go up when the amount of illegal immigrants in the country goes up.

murder in mexico

In fact, many of the illegal immigrants that come to the United States, despite their illegal status, do so in order to flee corrupt government regimes and countries with excessively high murder rates.

Most of the people that come to the United States illegally do so under duress, and with the intention of building a better life for themselves, not to sell illegal drugs or promote the drug trade.

Moving to the United States permanently isn’t something most drug-runners want to do, and most drugs not manufactured in the United States are sold by non-citizens that do not reside in the United States.

Path to Citizenship

american dream

There is a great deal of discussion about creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants that currently live in the United States however, many Americans don’t really understand what that term means.

The path to citizenship initiative would allow illegal immigrants currently living in the United States to become citizens of the United States – under certain conditions.

Some proposals require illegal immigrants looking to become permanent citizens of the United States to pay a fine – basically a retroactive penalty assessed by the United States government for coming to the United States illegally.

While some people support this fine for illegal immigrants, others believe that it will keep poor immigrants from coming forward and seeking citizenship.

As of 2012, no exact fine amount is being discussed.

The path to citizenship also requires people seeking citizenship to meet other requirements.

Most of these other requirements have not been named however, many people expect that these other requirements will be basic – things like staying out of trouble with the law and paying regular income taxes and government fees.

Public Opinion

A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that approximately 57% of Americans would support a path to citizenship program under the right conditions.

That number increases to nearly 65% if it applies to already employed illegal immigrants.

That slight rise makes sense since many natural-born United States citizens are worried about finding a job in a tough economy.

Public Opinion Split by Age

Younger Generation

According to the aforementioned ABC News/Washington Post poll published in November 2012, public opinion is split by age.

Many people believe this is because of lingering negative perceptions of illegal immigrants in the older generation, while a younger generation is more familiar with a country filled with highly-productive illegal immigrants.

Nearly 70% of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 support immigration reform and would vote for a path to citizenship program.

Only 47% of adults 65 years of age or older would support a path to citizenship program for illegal immigrants – even those working full-time jobs.

Still, that number is considerably higher than it was 10 years ago.

With the numbers the way they are, any path to citizenship initiatives put forth by the current administration are likely to pass, meaning most Americans are willing to welcome productive immigrants into the United States as citizens.

What To Expect From President Obama’s Immigration Reform Bill https://www.oltarsh.com/what-to-expect-from-president-obamas-immigration-reform-bill/ Tue, 09 Jul 2013 15:48:03 +0000 https://www.oltarsh.com/blog/?p=981 Continue reading "What To Expect From President Obama’s Immigration Reform Bill"]]> immigration reform

Now that President Barack Obama has been re-elected for a new term in office, its time for him to make good on his campaign promises, or at least that’s what his constituency will likely be thinking in the weeks and months to come.

Many agree that now, while voters are still conscious of the political process and at least halfway tuned in to the issues, is the right time to push the important reforms Obama would like to put through the most.

Unquestionably among the most controversial of those would be the immigration reform bill, or the DREAM act: Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act

The DREAM act offers immigrants who are here illegally a way to obtain citizenship.

They would have to register with the U.S. government, submit to a background check, and in some cases pay back taxes and fines as part of the program.

What Does the DREAM Act Do?

Once a person is accepted into the program the DREAM Act sets forth:

  • Deportation is deferred

  • They are required to pay taxes to the government from then on as a condition of citizenship.

  • They are required to learn English

  • They must either be in school, serving in the military, or employed

  • They must have a clean criminal record

  • Also, they must be able to prove they were living in the U.S. for five years before the DREAM act was made law.

During the citizenship process, a multiple-year undertaking, people are required to check back and verify that their record remains clean and update their educational/professional status.

Will It Pass?

Latinos for Obama

Of course, this bill is likely to cause a high degree of contention in Congress.

In an editorial for the Albuquerque Journal, journalist Esther J. Cepeda predicted the concerns most likely (in her mind) to be raised in Congress and the public forum: “…registration will put immigrants at risk for deportation, that the criminal background checks will be faulty and fears that English and civics exams will disqualify people.”

Despite this it looks like Obama and his team believe there is strong enough voter support to carry this bill through.

A large part of the reason he won the election in November was turnout by the Latino voter population, who supported Obama 71-27 percent.

If that endorsement from the Latino community is any indication, Obama will have perhaps less difficulty than before getting this legislation passed.

He has called the lack of any passed legislation during his first term one of the biggest failures of his time in office so far however, the President has also expressed a desire to get a bill into Congress very soon after his inauguration this coming January.

It is safe to assume a lengthy debate over this bill is unavoidable, especially given the new filibuster laws currently under review in which, if enacted, one may only need to state their intention to filibuster to hold up Congressional proceedings.

If passed, they may hold this and other legislation up even longer.

What Will the Bill Look Like?

the dream act

At this point it is difficult to say how closely the final bill that makes it through Congress will resemble the original DREAM act or deferred deportation legislation introduced these past few months.

Compromise and amendments may render it unrecognizable, though Obama will try to keep, at the very least, the core of it intact.

The requirements for registration, clean records, civics testing and the like will probably make it through unscathed.

The sooner the President moves on the issue, the more likely it is that he will be able to retain the heart of the bill.

With 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, there is no question that something needs to be done addressing the issue of a path to citizenship.

In any case, supporters for this legislation are building on both sides of the aisle.

Former president George W. Bush, historically a staunch conservative and backer of traditional Republican party values has come out in support of this bill in a speech December 4th.

If this trend continues, the bill’s prospects are hopeful.

The Changing Face of Illegal Immigration in the U.S https://www.oltarsh.com/the-changing-face-of-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/ Mon, 08 Jul 2013 23:30:31 +0000 https://www.oltarsh.com/blog/?p=965 Continue reading "The Changing Face of Illegal Immigration in the U.S"]]> Illegal immigration was a major issue in the presidential election of 2012, and in 2013, it seems that’s it is going to remain on the forefront and in the minds of the public.

But is illegal immigration really as big of an issue as it seems?

In the Past


Over the last four decades, more than twelve-million citizens of Mexico migrated to the United States to find a better life.

Many did so legally, but illegal immigration, particularly in states near the border like California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada, did have an effect.

That twelve-million is a record number, marking the largest influx of one single ethnic group into a nearby country.

While many people that moved to the United States did so legally and through the proper channels, a staggering 51% of people who immigrated to the United States did so illegally and remain undocumented in the United States.

Many of the illegal immigrants who moved to the United States were forced to work low-paying jobs, however – jobs many Americans simply were not willing to do.

Slow Economy

employment and pay

With the United States economy in such trouble, many people are choosing not to cross the border because they fear that there will be a lack of work on the other side.

This applies to both legally immigrating Mexican citizens and those that would be coming to the country illegally.

Not only are low-paying jobs like factory work down in the United States, but jobs for highly-skilled potential immigrants are down as well.

For many people looking to move to the United States, the dream of owning their own business is one that simply doesn’t seem possible anymore, especially in fields like construction and building, which have basically crawled to a stand-still in the United States since late 2005.

This is particularly important to many people looking to move to the United States illegally, since most know that it might be hard to work if they don’t work for themselves.

Heightened Border Enforcement

Despite economic problems, the United States has spent a good deal of money in recent years on heightened border enforcement in border towns.

While many people disagree with paying for heightened border enforcement during times of economic trouble, it is one of the factors in the slowing of illegal immigration to the United States.

Immigration at an All Time Low

mexicans entering the US

The record numbers of Mexican immigrants moving to the United States seems to be a thing of the past.

In fact, it looks like immigration has pretty much fallen to below zero with many people going back to Mexico despite the drug war.

Estimates of illegal immigrants from Mexico moving to the United States in 2011 was about 6 million – a major reduction over the amount of illegal immigrants moving to the United States in 2010.

That number is even lower in 2012, and most believe that it will continue to decline as long as the economy is down and struggling.

Immigration Numbers Will Continue to Fall

The economy is showing signs of recovery in the United States, and the housing market is doing better than it was just a few years ago however, many expect that the number of both illegal and legal immigrants moving to the United States will continue to decline until the economy makes a full recovery, and only if it does in fact make a full recovery.

Many Immigrants Can’t Leave

One of the main problems with U.S. immigration according to some is the fact that immigrants can’t leave the United States without fearing permanent deportation or criminal prosecution.

That means that even if an illegal immigrant wants to return to Mexico, they may not do so.

For many this is a major concern, and it is being taken into account in many initiatives and programs designed to help illegal immigrants obtain legal status or leave the country without prosecution.

The Changing Face of Immigration

The United States is still home to the largest Mexican population outside of Mexico, and nearly one-in-ten Mexican-born citizens live in the United States, either legally or illegally according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The amount of Mexican citizens moving into the United States has declined, but many people from other countries are still moving here.

In 2011, nearly 40 million people immigrated to the United States from all over the world – the vast majority of them from countries other than Mexico.

Driver License for Illegal Immigrants https://www.oltarsh.com/driver-license-for-illegal-immigrants/ Thu, 04 Jul 2013 23:22:20 +0000 https://www.oltarsh.com/blog/?p=961 Continue reading "Driver License for Illegal Immigrants"]]> image03

Giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants has been a topic of discussion in the United States for quite a few years and people on both sides of the argument tend to have strong opinions. However, with recent government changes, at both a national and state level, many states are starting to provide licenses to undocumented immigrants.

For some, this is still a controversial topic. But as of 2013, more and more illegal immigrants will be getting their driver’s licenses and ID cards through a variety of different states.

Application Process

Illegal immigrants applying for driver’s licenses are doing so through new legislation as part of the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act allows illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to apply for a driver’s license.

The Act applies to adults as old as 35 as long as they have been in the country since childhood.

Why Issue Driver’s Licenses?

The most basic reason people support the DREAM Act and an immigrant’s rights to obtain a driver’s license is because they were brought to this country as children, and should enjoy many of the same basic rights as others who grew up here. Without a driver’s license, many illegal immigrants have no identification whatsoever, and are unable to support themselves and their family through work.


Providing driver’s licenses to undocumented workers in the United States allows them to move freely and work in the United States. This creates tax money for local and federal governments and also contributes to the economy. After all, illegal immigrants buy basic items in the United States just like naturalized citizens.

Driver’s licenses also provide some sort of documentation of illegal immigrants in the United States to state and federal government.

Potential Negatives

Many people who argue that providing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants is bad for the country may do so because they believe that driver’s licenses encourage illegal immigrants to stay in the United States and work, taking jobs from American workers.

This argument generally doesn’t hold water because illegal immigrants in the United States generally don’t take the same jobs as American citizens – often working for much lower pay. Even so, most companies require a birth certificate or another form of legal ability to work in the United States.

Immigration Reform Impact

Along with the rest of the DREAM Act, many believe that issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, especially those who were brought here at children and consider the United States to be their home, is one of the first steps toward allowing young immigrants the right to be productive, upstanding members of society instead of hiding in the shadows.

Those opposed to DREAM Act proposals claim that issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants of any age or status will encourage more people to come to the United States illegally.

The Immigration Numbers


As of February 2013, there were just over 400,000 applications for the program between mid-August and mid-January of 2012 according to the Department of Homeland Security, as reported by The Iowa Gazette. Of those applications, about 150,000 have been approved, about 370,000 are still being processed, and just over 10,000 were rejected. Most of the applications rejected were rejected because of insufficient paperwork or because the applicant had yet to pass a state-mandated driving test.

New Immigration Law https://www.oltarsh.com/new-immigration-law/ Mon, 01 Jul 2013 23:14:41 +0000 https://www.oltarsh.com/blog/?p=956 Continue reading "New Immigration Law"]]> image02

President Barack Obama’s immigration plan has been heavily discussed in all political circles this year, and while it certainly has its supporters and detractors, some people are still unsure how it will affect them. Among this group is certainly some portion of the 11-million estimated illegal immigrants currently living in the United States.

Path to Citizenship

During the first month of 2013, Barack Obama called for the United States Congress to put the nearly 11-million illegal immigrants on a clear path to citizenship – especially those adults who were brought to the country by their parents when they were only children. This plan is partly designed to clear an enormous backlog of deferred deportation waivers and visa applications waiting to be processed.

However, this path to citizenship can only be devised according to President Obama after strengthened border controls are put into place, and penalties for employers hiring undocumented workers are raised and enforced.

Who Would Be Eligible for this Path to Citizenship?

Though discussions are still ongoing, the majority of the “path to citizenship” legislation appears to be aimed at young adults under the age of 30 who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were children. Still, there is some indication that illegal immigrants over the age of 30 may be allowed to stay in the United States if they pay certain fines and are considered upstanding citizens of the country.

For adults over the age of 30, something the Obama administration refers to as a “lawful prospective immigrant” visa may be a possibility in the near future. If the bill passes, immigrants seeking the visa would be required to submit to a background check, submit biometric information and pay all of the fees associated with obtaining a legal visa.

Under the “lawful prospective immigrant” visa, individuals who were convicted of three or more crimes and were sentenced to a total of 90 more days in jail would not be eligible. Individuals who committed crimes in their native country that would make them ineligible for a standard visa would also be denied a “lawful prospective immigrant” visa.

Suspended Deportation


At the end of 2012, President Barack Obama issued a directive to suspend deportation of young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents before they were consenting adults. This suspended deportation directive is directly related to the DREAM Act, which is still under consideration.

Visa Wait Time for Immigrants with U.S. Spouses

One of the least talked about facets of President Obama’s plan is a reduced wait time for immigrants with U.S. spouses to obtain a valid visa. As of 2013, some people have been required to wait what seems like an incredibly long time for their visa – more than one year in some cases.

Some immigrants with U.S. spouses were also punished for having lived in the United States illegally, which extended valid visa wait times to considerably more than one year. Under the Obama administration, changes in this policy would allow immigrants currently living in the United States with a naturalized spouse to return to their native country and apply for a waiver, which would allow them to reside legally in the United States while waiting on their visa.

The Obama administration has said that this process will take immigrants weeks instead of years.

What’s Ahead?

Immigration policy and reform is going to be a major topic of debate in 2013. It does appear that many illegal immigrants living in the United States will be given an opportunity to obtain a visa and green card, however.

According to the Obama administration, the answer is not deportation – it’s allowing immigrants who call the United States home, in a lawful manner, to become part of the culture, while tightening border security and improving the intensely complicated immigration process.

]]> How Does Immigration Amnesty Work? https://www.oltarsh.com/how-does-immigration-amnesty-work/ Thu, 27 Jun 2013 23:07:39 +0000 https://www.oltarsh.com/blog/?p=952 Continue reading "How Does Immigration Amnesty Work?"]]> image03

Immigration amnesty is not a new concept in the United States. The idea has been kicked around by various politicians and groups since the mid-1980s, particularly in states where the population of undocumented immigrants is high.

In the past few years, the concept has come to the forefront of many discussions about immigration law, and opinions are unsurprisingly mixed. However, few people really understand how immigration amnesty really works, including undocumented immigrants that would be affected by it and people who live in states with the highest population of undocumented immigrants.

It should be noted that the idea of immigration amnesty at this point is simply an idea – but it is an idea that has a lot of traction within the Obama administration, and amnesty is a potential option in the future.

What Is Amnesty?

There are between 11 million and 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States as of March 2013. Those numbers are average estimates, and some people believe there are as many as 15 million undocumented immigrants in the United States living on the fringes of society.

The basic idea behind immigration amnesty is that the undocumented immigrant population would not be under threat of deportation, and would be allowed to become active, recognized members of the United States instead of hiding in the shadows.

The amnesty program, if turned into law, would allow almost all undocumented immigrants in the United States to remain in the country, though they would be required to do certain things in order to become eligible for the amnesty program.

Immigrants May Pay a Fine


The Obama administration has repeatedly said that undocumented immigrants that remain in the United States under the amnesty program would be required to pay a fine for coming to the United States illegally. As of 2013, no specific amount for the fine has been discussed, or how the fine would be charged and collected is still widely debated.

Some believe that fines should be based on years spent in the United States, while others believe this fine could be unnecessarily punitive for people that have been in the United States illegally for more than a few years.

Immigrants Will Be Required to Learn English

As part of the amnesty program, President Barack Obama has said that undocumented immigrants who want to become part of the legal population will need to learn English and pass a test. As of 2013, the test hasn’t been heavily discussed, but many assume it will be similar to the English skills test given to individuals applying for naturalization in the U.S.

Is Immigration Amnesty Right for the United States?

Whether or not immigration amnesty is right for the United States is a very controversial subject. Some immigration rights groups believe amnesty is still too restrictive – detractors believe that amnesty could make the U.S. economy worse and open the floodgates for immigrants from all over the world to come to the United States illegally, knowing that they won’t face deportation or other consequences.

Proponents of immigration amnesty believe that it’s only fair for illegal immigrants, who have been in the United States, working to support our economy – and the statistics show that undocumented immigrants contribute positively to the economy.

Do Illegal Immigrants Have Rights? https://www.oltarsh.com/do-illegal-immigrants-have-rights/ Mon, 24 Jun 2013 22:56:33 +0000 https://www.oltarsh.com/blog/?p=947 Continue reading "Do Illegal Immigrants Have Rights?"]]> image03

In the United States, illegal immigrants are part of the culture now more than ever. States like California, Texas, and Arizona – states on or near the border – tend to have a higher population of illegal immigrants, but they are a prevalent part of society in many other areas as well.

While the rights of illegal immigrants are a touchy subject for some people, the courts have upheld that all people in the United States, whether they’re living here legally or not, have certain fundamental rights. However, illegal immigrants don’t have the exact same rights as American-born, or naturalized citizens, or as citizens living in the United States with a valid visa.

If you’re an illegal immigrant living in the United States, knowing which rights and laws apply to you is important – the same goes for employers that hire illegal immigrants. To be informed on the law is essential, but it can be a little tricky at times.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness might sound like a tired phrase to some, but these rights are incredibly important for many illegal immigrants. According to the Supreme Court and U.S. Constitution, these rights are for everyone in the United States regardless of their legal status, meaning that no state, federal, or private entity shall disregard them.

Illegal immigrants also have the right to due process and equal protection under the law despite their legal status, skin color or religion according to the Supreme Court.

The Right to Medical Care

While many illegal immigrants try to stay away from hospitals and doctor’s offices, the right to medical care is one right illegal immigrants do have- at least in serious emergency situations. A dentist may not be willing to treat an illegal immigrant without insurance or ID, but a hospital that offers emergency care will.

The Right to Earn a Fair Wage


Many illegal immigrants that come to the United States work low paying, often labor-based jobs. In many cases, these are jobs that American citizens don’t want because of the hard work, long hours and nominal pay. For illegal immigrants, these jobs are necessary to support themselves and their families.

Illegal immigrants working in the United States have the right to earn a fair wage for their work. Like American-born and naturalized citizens, illegal immigrants are entitled to the state-mandated minimum wage in the state they are working in.

Illegal immigrants should also be paid for overtime based on state calculations; earnings cannot be withheld because of a person’s immigration status.

The Right to Vote

Illegal immigrants in the United States do not have the right to vote. In fact, even citizens living in the United States with permanent visas do not have the right to vote until they become naturalized citizens.

Driver’s License

As of 2013, some states within the U.S. are offering driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. These states tend to be border states with a high population of illegal immigrants, like California. Though other states with lower illegal immigrant populations are following along.

However, it should be noted that nobody has a right to a driver’s license. It is a privilege, and it can be revoked by the government.

Second Amendment Rights

The second amendment allows for a person the right to bear arms. However, this amendment only applies to United States citizens that were born here or were naturalized as permanent residents.

It is not legal for undocumented immigrants to own a gun in the United States. This very issue actually went to court at the end of 2012, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the right to bear arms is one reserved only for law abiding legal citizens.

What is America’s Youth’s Take on the Immigration Controversy? https://www.oltarsh.com/what-is-americas-youths-take-on-the-immigration-controversy/ Thu, 20 Jun 2013 22:39:54 +0000 https://www.oltarsh.com/blog/?p=942 Continue reading "What is America’s Youth’s Take on the Immigration Controversy?"]]> image02

Immigration policy has been at the forefront of the political discussion for the better part of the decade. It should come as no surprise that America’s youth has strong opinions about immigration, as many are directly affected or know somebody who will be directly affected by immigration policy changes.

Like the opinions of all United States citizens, the opinions of America’s youth are somewhat mixed when it comes to how immigration should be handled in the country. However, it appears that younger Americans are more supportive toward immigrants coming to, and remaining in the country both legally and illegally.

The Blame Game

Groups and individuals who claim that illegal immigrants are to blame for a lack of jobs for Americans don’t generally receive much support from younger Americans. That’s because most younger Americans realize that all immigrants, regardless of their legal status, spend money in the United States, and therefore create new jobs.

While there are certainly older Americans who support this sound economic theory, it seems that some prejudices are stronger among older adults who simply aren’t willing to accept that immigrants don’t negatively affect the US economy.

Deferred Action

Deferred action is a simple concept put forth by the Obama administration in late 2012. It simply says that undocumented immigrants facing deportation will be allowed to put in an application for a stay of deportation.

This would effectively allow many citizens who are worried about being deported to remain in the country if they meet certain criteria – criteria like being law abiding citizens, or citizens who have graduated, or are enrolled in school. The deferred action plan won’t cost the United States any money, as applicants must pay a $465 fee to file the necessary paperwork.

According to a late 2012 poll taken by CNN, young Americans strongly support deferred action for illegal immigrants who feel that the United States is their home. Not surprisingly, numbers of support are even higher for young Americans who were brought to the United States as children by their parents but are now facing deportation because of their undocumented status.

More Americans Support Immigrant Privileges

States like California and Oregon have recently started making driver’s licenses available to undocumented citizens who meet certain basic criteria and can pass written tests and road exams. While there is certainly some opposition to immigrants enjoying these privileges, it seems that the opposition isn’t coming from America’s youth, who strongly support immigrants who contribute positively to the United States economy having these basic privileges.

America’s Youth Isn’t Without Opposition to Immigration


So overall, a large contingent of America’s youth believes that immigrants should be allowed to come to the United States. While some support amnesty and the DREAM Act for immigrants already living in the United States, others support only legal immigration. And then there are some that do not believe immigration should be allowed at all– at least not at the current rate. Economic recession and job loss to immigrants are common reasons cited.

Still, most of America’s youth does seem to support immigration in one form or another. Perhaps that’s because much of America’s under-30 population has grown up with immigrants, both legal and undocumented, all around them.