Governor Jerry Brown has brought immigration reform back into the headlines in recent news with new immigration laws developing in California. People who are not legally living in the United States will now be able to apply for a driver’s license and become an attorney.
According to the Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project, an estimated 11.7 million immigrants live in the United States illegally.
Allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license can create problems for national security and defeats the purpose of immigration law. Officials, such as Governor Brown, believe this will prevent fake documentation and identity theft.
I disagree because the license will state that they are ineligible for employment or public aid. Immigrants who are not legally documented will continue to find fake documents in order to get a job.
“Why should people who are here illegally be allowed the same rights as me? People work hard and spend a lot of time and money to become legal immigrants. Giving illegals the same rights as U.S. citizens just encourages people to come to the country illegally,” said senior Jade Gurule.
Someone who is not a legal citizen of the United States should not be allowed to practice law simply because they cannot fight for the rights of others if they are not a legal part of the system.
If they want to become a lawyer, they should wait until they go through the naturalization process.
“Why would you want someone to be an advocate and proprietor for the law who clearly doesn’t follow the law themselves?” said junior criminal justice major Ashley Eggleston.
Becoming a citizen is a difficult process. There are a lot of legal obligations, paperwork and loopholes people have to jump through.
Green card naturalization, marrying a citizen and joining the military are potential ways someone can begin the citizenship process.
“It needs to be revamped and better regulated. There needs to be reformation with stricter laws, which would protect and preserve the rights granted to American citizens, including those who immigrated legally,” Eggleston said.
“It’s important to point out that America was founded by immigrants, but all those people came here legally.”
I think there needs to be one general process for people to go through that is easily laid out. It also needs to be cheaper for people to become citizens.
Just to apply to be a citizen costs $680, according to The City University of New York. Many people come to the United States to make a better living and have a more lucrative lifestyle, but just becoming a citizen can set them back.
Laura Decorte, a former CLU student from Belgium who became a legal U.S. Citizen last year, came to the United States on her dad’s work visa with her family. Once it expired, they had to go through the process to stay here.
“We had to have lawyers help us figure out all the paperwork and get stuff done. It’s a crazy process. The thing is, if we had come to the U.S. illegally, we would have become citizens way faster,” Decorte said.
Even though becoming a legal citizen can be a daunting and time-consuming experience, it is the best route to take for someone who wants to come to the United States. If more people followed the guidelines of how to become a citizen, it would reduce problems with immigration reform for illegal immigrants.
Published Nov. 6, 2013