ESSENCE Poll: What Do You Think About the Country’s Immigration System?

This week, the country will begin debating what is the best solution for fixing our immigration system.

In Saturday’s weekly address, President Obama urged the Senate to pass the proposed bill for commonsense immigration reform. Reminding the nation that we are a country of immigrants, the President admits that the current immigration system is “broken” and “out-of-date,” having harmed our economy and threatened our national security. Instead the proposed bill includes facets that will strengthen the southern border, hold traffickers and smugglers more accountable for their crimes and offers the “Dreamers” (young people brought to the country as children) to come out from the shadows and take the steps to achieve permanent residency. The bill provides a pathway to earned citizenship for some 11 million undocumented individuals (400,000 of which are Black from African and Caribbean nations) that includes passing a background check and paying taxes. 

But none of this can be achieved without Congress seeing this as a bipartisan effort.  While the President admits the bill isn’t perfect, it is the most ambitious effort put forth in recent years. Nonetheless, detractors voted against the Dreamer’s Act, giving temporary legal status to undocumented youth who were brought to the country as children and adding doubt and fear about an immigration bill that seemingly offers men and women their slice of the American pie. What do you think?

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