President Obama’s immigration action is one that sets the U.S apart from other countries’ policies

By Hashem Anabtawi, ’15

On Nov. 20, following the Republican-favored midterm elections, President Obama spoke words that sent an array of mixed emotions throughout the country. Obama has enforced an executive action concerning the U.S. immigration system. He announced he would “offer temporary legal status to approximately five million undocumented immigrants,” wrote Benjamin Bell of ABC News.

For a handful of residing foreigners, this decision was glorious pathway paved for their lives and that of their children. But for opposing Republicans, objection and backlash was an immediate action.

“Essentially he’s gotten in the job of counterfeiting immigration papers, because there’s no legal authority to do what he’s doing,” said Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

Other Republicans feel the decision was too abrupt and needs more shaping for a logical and effective structure.

“We are going to pass legislation, but it is not going to be the legislation the president is asking for,” Raul Labrador of Idaho said. “We as Republicans don’t believe you should give amnesty first and talk about security later, which is what the Senate bill did.”

However, more than just amnesty was Obama’s goal in the action. In terms of the economy, Obama believes the order will have a very positive and lasting effect over the coming years. Since minimal legislation was being passed through Obama’s term, this made the executive order seem even more appealing.

The Council of Economic Advisers estimates that the president’s executive order will increase gross domestic product by 0.4 percent after 10 years, will not affect the likelihood of employment for native workers while raising their wages and will cut deficits by $25 billion in 2024.

Nonetheless, this decision was one that set the U.S. apart from other countries in the modern time. In comparison to other countries’ immigration policies, this decision separates the U.S. from a strict neglecting rule to a sign of sympathy and a grant for opportunity, as opposed to middle eastern rules.

Spanish teacher Richard Duarte comes from a line of immigrants and has taken a great interest in the cultural effect of a country’s diversity. For this reason, Duarte agrees with the executive order and is supportive of any future legislation allowing immigrants into the US.

“My grandparents were immigrants across the Nicaraguan border, but because of the way they looked and the way they talked, going across spanish-speaking countries was no problem for them,” Duarte said. “I think it’s interesting to look as a whole how types of immigrants can create cultural diversity within one country, but not every country allows that,” Duarte said.

Duarte is correct in the sense that immigration policy is not one universal system worldwide. In certain Middle Eastern countries with past and present conflict such as Jordan and Israel, immigration between the two is a much stricter process.

According to Israeli law, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen and Iran are “enemy countries” and an Israeli citizen may not visit them without a special permit issued by the Israeli minister of the interior,” as written in the US Embassy’s website.

“An Israeli who visits these countries, be it with a foreign passport or an Israeli one, may be prosecuted when coming back to Israel,” written on the US Embassy’s website.

In comparison the the United State’s past immigration policy, there includes much leniency in terms of granting visas, work visas, green cards and overall citizenship. Though the process is selective to few of the applicants, approximately 675 thousand annually according to The American Immigration Council, the recent executive order sets the US even further apart from other countries in a working immigration system.