|Type of paper:||Research paper|
|Categories:||United States Immigration Foreign policy|
Immigration of refugees is an issue facing most of the countries to extents of gaining international recognition. The U.S. is one of the countries in the spotlight of the refugee crisis since it has been dealing with the problem for many years. The ability of the country to maintain strong governance attracts refugees and displaced persons for settlement, particularly from their hostile countries. Others migrate into the U.S. in search of better occupations and lifestyles. The influx of refugees in the country is thought to attribute to political, social, and economic constraints since the population is overwhelming. For many decades, the U.S. has developed foreign policies to address the immigration problem, which proved futile. This research proposal seeks to address the global refugee crisis through the U.S. foreign policy by highlighting the need for change, possible poly alternatives, pros and cons of each option, and recommendation of the most appropriate choice.
The U.S. is home to immigrants since it consists of a significant part of the global people seeking safety from political and religious persecution. The population of the refugees tends to affect the American way of life, mainly through the displacement of the indigenous people living in the settlement areas (Martin and Ferris 1). Since the 17th century to the 20th century, the U.S. friendly foreign policy allowed millions of people, particularly those from Europe, to seek refuge in its land (2). The Constitutional Bill of Rights and U.S. policies on religious toleration were the pillars of allowing more people to migrate into the country regardless of ethnicity, religion, and political affiliations. As a result, the high number of refugees is becoming an issue to the strain of economic resources and taxpayer's money to facilitate their basic needs in the country.
Reasons for Change of the Current Policy
The current foreign policy framework of refugees focuses on securing borders to prevent further immigration. Although the administration promised on resettlement of the immigrants by taking them back to their home countries, the prevention of refugees entering the country through the borders draws more attention since it is debatable. The policy faces the challenge of getting sufficient funding, minors are treated inhumanely, and interior enforcement priorities. The following are some of the problems related to the current U.S. policy regarding refugee crisis:
The immigration enforcement agencies are currently one of the top consumers of the taxpayers' money. Over the years, the U.S. Congress expressed concerns regarding the funding of the refugees' livelihood since it was becoming a burden (Martin and Ferris 21). It expected that European countries would assist in sharing the costs incurred in the residual settlement of the refugee population, which was a challenge for them. The U.S. uses a significant expenditure in supporting a decent life for the refugees within the country. For instance, in the fiscal year 2018, the federal government assigned the department $24 billion (Meissner and Gellat 3). Therefore, there is a need to review the existing policy to develop a framework which cost-effective in addressing the refugees' crisis.
The number of children in the custody of the Office of Refugee Settlement continues growing in recent years. Such kind of a trend raises questions, thereby posing a challenge on what should be done to reverse such type of a pattern. The number of unaccompanied minors is further increasing under unclear circumstances; the children are often segregated from their parents (Meissner and Gellat 10). For example, in 2018, the number hit an all-time high, hence, showing how the foreign immigration policy is ineffective towards the regulation of immigrants into the country.
The interior enforcement prioritizes on arrests and deportations, which creates a climate of fear amongst the immigrants (14). This concept of the policy creates split viewpoints amongst Americans, where some believe that the move is harsh, whereas others support it. The human rights activists and groups are objected to the practice, as shown through their legal actions. For example, in a few days, more than 50 lawsuits were targeting the misuse of Trump's executive order for arrest and deportations of immigrants from state attorney generals, religious groups, and other organizations (Scribner 266). Hence, the policy elicits mixed reactions and legal lawsuits, which might affect its full implementation.
Possible Policy Alternatives
There are three potential alternatives that the U.S. government could use to create a cost-effective and more humane approach to addressing the global refugee crisis. First, the government should address the root causes of the problems by handling the factors compelling migration and refugee flows into the country. The administration should assist in solving global conflicts, poverty, and weak governance, which are the primary contributory factors. The government should support sustainable economic development and security along regions experiencing high levels of instability. It should support efforts aimed at building societies characterized by capable police force and strong judiciaries, which vex prosecutions based on the national rule of laws.
Second, the government should focus on establishing robust, well-resourced, and fair immigration courts to solve illegal immigration cases. Trump's administration needs to stop the systematic assault of the existing immigration courts where asylum seeks can only run to seek justice. Instead, the regime should try to strengthen the courts to have timely and equitably hearings by independent and impartial judges supported with the necessary tools to solve the asylum claims. There should be adequate immigration judges to bring down the caseload to a manageable level such that they take less than a year to be addressed. The implementation of smart priorities and procedures to ease prehearing conferences would increase the efficiency of the immigration courts.
Third, the government should increase the in-country processing of the refugees to speed up their resettlement. Notably, the Trump administration ended the in-country refugee program based in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The existence of such programs creates delays in the efforts of resettling refugees. The programs provided orderly and safe alternatives to hold refugees who migrated into the country illegally. Therefore, the administration should work on reviving the plans and strengthening them to be effective. They provided centers for the nation to improve the process of refugee resettlement in a humanly and less costly approach.
Pros and Cons of Each Policy
The root cause approach of addressing the U.S. foreign policy regarding the refugee crisis offers both advantages and disadvantages. The method is a proven effective strategy for addressing the crisis from a global perspective. It was applied during the end of the Cold War to address the root causes of migration under various circumstances, including the need to attain restrictive immigration and handling asylum practices professionally (Gent 10). The approach also improves the global living conditions for countries to achieve a desirable income. The implementation of the policy would increase control and reduce the need for having unwanted migrants in a country (3). However, the approach has various disadvantages which would affect its efficiency. First, it fails to consider migration as a historical context, fails to accept the two-way movement of people to constitute migration and inability to understand diverse complexities related to immigration, such as causes, effects, and experiences (4). Therefore, the root cause approach provides alternatives to the current policy, although it faces significant limitations.
The strengthening of the immigration courts by resourcing and giving them autonomy is an alternative with different pros and cons. The policy would set up a framework that supports diverse visions of the American, which includes developing a well-function immigration system that is viewed as fair and humane and the global context (Jawetz). The policy would use the most preferred form of justice globally where offenders are heard and judged based on the established rule of law, which does not demonize or discriminate them. The policy would require massive investments to grand courts with the necessary equipment, including judges, tools, and independence. The investments would come at the expense of the taxpayers' money. Another challenge facing the policy is that this option has been tested and proved inefficient in the past before Trump's administration abolished it to include more severe terms of the current system.
The restoration and strengthening of the in-country processing of the resettlement plans for the refugees have potential advantages and disadvantages. The policy would solve the challenge experienced by the current resettlement and asylum systems since it would resolve the steady stream of interagency refugees and asylum issues (Human Rights First 1). It would integrate senior leadership to ensure a fast response to the crisis. The policy would also clean the current mess in the U.S. foreign policy regarding immigration and refugees, which involves detaining and jailing them and leaving them stranded, which exposes them to various risks and their families. The disadvantages related to the policy is that they had been in place before their abolishment after they proved ineffective. Although the system offers an orderly and safe alternative for the resettlement process, it faces significant challenges related to delays as a result of long queues in processing the resettlement plans within the country.
The Best Policy Alternative
The creation of an independent and well-resourced immigration court appears as the most suitable alternatives for replacing the current U.S. foreign policy regarding refugees' crisis at a global perspective. The process would allow the hiring and retention of independent judges in the courts who would rule on the immigration claims of the refugees. Although the courts have existed in the past, they have failed to offer justice due to their lack of independence and rigid structure. Hence, the policy would require an overhaul for them to attain a declaration of independence. For instance, in the recent past, attorneys general operating under Trump have made decisions by themselves regarding the immigration of refugees, which undermines the due process of serving justice. Such scenarios eliminate the independence of judges. Therefore, the immigration courts would need to be well-resourced and independent to replace the existing policy.
Summary and Conclusion
The U.S. foreign policy regarding the global refugee crisis is problematic due to the inefficiencies reported. Although the country's policy on the handling of the refugees and illegal immigrants has been facing challenges over the years, the current issues are alarming. For instance, previous studies unfold that border security investments, interior enforcement priorities, handling of minors, and refugee resettlement represent loopholes of Trump's administration foreign immigration policy. This paper offers various alternatives, including addressing the problems from the root causes, firm, well-resourced, and fair immigration courts and restoration and strengthening of the in-country processing of the resettlement plans. All the options have both their advantages and disadvantages. The creation of an independent and well-resourced immigration court appears to be the best policy since it serves justice independently and addresses the enormous cases faster.
Fix, Michael, Kate Hoop...
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