Intelligence Squared U.S.: Should we give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship?
There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and the question of what to do with them has sparked years of fierce debate, but no significant action. In 2013, the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” managed to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate, only to get it dropped by the House. And in 2016, a deadlocked Supreme Court decision stalled President Obama’s executive actions, DACA and DAPA, which would have saved 5 million from deportation. For voters, on this issue, the choice between presidential candidates could not be clearer. Should we give these immigrants a chance to earn citizenship through a process that would include paying a penalty, passing a security check, and getting in the back of the line? Or are we rewarding them for breaking the rules, and encouraging more of the same? Do they make positive contributions to the economy and complement our workforce, or do they burden taxpayers and create unwanted competition for jobs? Should we give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship?