Updated 10:05 PM EDT, Mon, Oct 14, 2019

How to Solve America's Illegal Immigration Issue

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Undocumented immigration is undoubtedly one of the major issues that the United States has to deal with. The U.S.' status as a nation with plenty of job opportunities and better living conditions are some of the reasons why immigrants leave their home countries and look for greener pastures.

President Barack Obama has announced an executive action on Nov. 20, 2014 offering deportation relief to about half of the immigrant population, according to Pew Research Center. A lawsuit, however, is currently blocking the program's deportation relief part.

Executive actions on immigration go back to past decades, the news outlet wrote. Obama's recent program is considered as the most significant protection from deportation offered to undocumented immigrants since 1986, when Congress permitted 2.7 million unauthorized immigrants to acquire green cards.

Around 11.3 million undocumented immigrants are living in the U.S. in 2014, making up 3.5 percent of the country's populace, Pew Research Center reported. Of these immigrants, the Mexican community is the largest at 49 percent (5.6 million), though their numbers are plummeting in recent years.

California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois are home to 60 percent of undocumented immigrants, Pew Research Center added. In addition, unauthorized immigrants make up 5.1 percent of the country's labor force, with Nevada having the highest shares at 10 percent.

Just recently, the Obama administration rolled out the "priorities" program, which orders the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop arresting and deporting new undocumented immigrants. Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said that the government now orders Border Patrol agents to only focus on criminals, national security risks, and unauthorized immigrants who set foot in U.S. after Jan. 1, 2014, The Washington Times reported.

The CBP, the overseer for the Border Patrol, confirmed Judd's claim but said that agents have been told to prioritize the arrests.

"The Border Patrol's resources are most effectively focused on the border - prioritizing the apprehension and removal of individuals attempting to unlawfully enter the United States," said Michael Friel, a CBP spokesman, as quoted by The Washington Times. "Our removal numbers reflect that. Border Patrol agents are issuing notices to appear, consistent with law, regulation and the department's enforcement priorities."

Bryan Fischer, the former Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, wrote that undocumented immigration can be solved in three steps. First is to build a double-layer security fence alongside the entire southern border. Second is to implement the use of E-Verify, a huge database of Social Security numbers. With this, a person's name, number, and status can be verified almost immediately.

Lastly, Fischer argued that undocumented immigration can be solved through self-repatriation, which they would do willingly if the first two steps are carried out properly by the government, according to AFA's website.

With so many immigrant communities -- plenty of them without legal status -- now living in the U.S., the undocumented immigration debacle requires careful deliberation and cannot be solved in just a snap.

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