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[. . .] A third concern is that by reorganizing originally-independent agencies into two large bureaus, the government impeded on their ineffective functioning, particularly because these agencies have unique missions. The INS, for instance, was merged into the ICE, yet its mission bears almost nothing in common with the orientation and priorities of the latter. As a matter of fact, prior to the reorganization, the INS was under the Department of Justice, whereas Customs was under the Treasury. Reorganization, therefore, created functional dysfunctions that have impeded on the DHs' successful implementations of illegal immigration reforms.

Human Resource Management

Human resource departments have been encouraged to beef up their employee verification systems as a way of ensuring that they do not recruit illegal aliens (Graham, 2012). The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) prohibits employers from knowingly referring to other employers, recruiting, or hiring illegal aliens. In this regard, employers are required to verify that any potential employee is permitted to work in the U.S. Employers found in violation risk paying hefty fines of up to $2,000. Most verification procedures involve checking employees' social security numbers against the government database to assess their eligibility to work. Ethical concerns have, however, been raised against this kind of verification, with employers being accused of only subjecting to verification procedures those employees who "don't seem American', say black Americans and people of Asian origin.

Despite these concerns, and the fact that such a plan works in line with the profit-maximizing motive by denying employers access to cheap labor, the government still maintains that verification is still the only way to make the U.S. A less attractive destination for illegal aliens. Graham (2012) expresses that in order for an organizational employee verification policy to be effective, it needs to make use of the latest technology, ensure fair enforcement, be reliable and accurate, and incorporate some form of shared responsibility among employers, employees, and the government. The human resource aspect of immigration reform, however, still continues to be largely ineffective, as employers continue to trade compliance and national security for cheap labor.

Budgeting

In his FY2016 budget proposals, President Obama allocated a massive $48 billion to the DHS, representing a significant 9.1% increase from the FY2015 proposals. The president's proposal i) gives ICE an additional $27.6 million to cater for the transportation of unaccompanied minors found crossing into the country illegally at the Mexican border, and ii) beefs up the CBP's IT budget by a massive $373 million. With these additional funds, the DHS is expected to beef up its anti-terrorism efforts, upgrade its Cybersecurity programs, and employ more border agents, particularly at the border with Mexico. Experts expect the agency to channel part of this budgetary allocation (if approved) towards the enhancement of employer verification initiatives. Further, CBP is expected to widen its trusted traveler program to aid in the efficient tracking and processing of incoming travelers.

The president's support may come as a reprieve for the DHS, but its officers will still have to wait and see how the political battlefield between Republicans and Democrats, plays out. As it stands, thousands of Secret Service agents, customs personnel, Coast Guard members, border patrol agents, and airport security screeners will have to go without their salaries for much longer. How long this will be still remains unclear, but on the question of whether this affects their morale on-the-job and impacts negatively on immigration reforms -- the answer is a tentative "yes."

Policy and Politics

The Stopgap bill, which is geared at expanding the budgetary allocation to the DHS to prevent a possible shutdown, sailed through Congress amidst dramatic and chaotic confrontations, and was signed into law. The passage of the bill triggered bad blood between Republicans who were against the bill, and those who supported it. Tichenor (2012) indicates that around 200 Republicans voted for the bill, and they became super mad at their conservative counterparts who voted against it.

Moving forward, therefore, Congress became sharply divided, with most of the controversy centered not on the element of funding, but on President Obama's controversial immigration plan, which grants millions of illegal immigrants permits to work in the U.S., and a deportation reprieve. A section of Republicans maintain that the president's proposed arrangement is misinformed; as such, they have called for the reversion of the proposed measures as a pre-condition for funding the DHS. Another section appears to have backed down, even as Democrats put down plans to pass a stand-alone, annual-funding bill with no immigration provisions attached.

The situation in the Senate is no better. Senate Democrats have termed the president's immigration policy as a non-starter, and are intent on blocking it. Recently, they blocked another bill, undoing the immigration measures proposed by President Obama. As the debate, finger-pointing, media bombast and political posturing gains momentum in the political arena, Americas can only wait and see how legislators resolve the current stalemate. Democrats have accused their Republican counterparts of interfering with DHS operations, thereby compromising the security of the nation amidst increasing threats from ISIS. Republicans, on the other hand, have lambasted President Obama for failing to safeguard the Southern Border (Camayd-Freixas, 2013) and acting beyond his mandate by instituting his executive immigration order. Experts expect that the president will ride on the support he has garnered from the corporate world to get his immigration policy to continue, and to consequently ensure the restoration of funding to the DHS.

Experts have argued that there is more than meets the eye in the ongoing debate and controversy. Some have described it as a manifestation of misplaced priorities centered on the immigrant Latino population. Whereas President Obama is under pressure to support the newly-built pro-immigrant movements, whose members gave him massive support in the last presidential election, Republican legislators are out to block these well-organized, well-equipped pro-immigrant movements from threatening their party's existence and political future.

These conflicting objectives continue to play out on the ground in the war against terror, an obvious touchstone in the immigration debate. Guided by the historical perception that terrorists and terror suspects are smuggled into the country through illegal routes, the government made it a strategy to lock out foreign terrorists by securing and maintaining constant surveillance over the nation's porous borders. It has since become apparent that most terrorists actually enter the country through the most legal routes, and politicians have consequently been prompted to link homeland security and border control. As a result, the war on terror has gradually transformed into a war on immigrants.

The Constitution

Federal Immigration Law outlines who an alien is, and what the obligations, duties, and rights associated with being one are. Moreover, it forms the basis for determining who enters, who gets admitted, when they leave, and so on. Any immigration policies are, thus, required to be within the framework of immigration law. Moreover, the Constitution grants Congress complete legislative authority over immigration, with presidential power extending only as far as refugee policy, and courts often ruling the issue as nonjusticiable. Those opposed to President Obama's most recent immigration policy base most of their arguments on the fact that by issuing the controversial executive order, he overstepped his mandate as provided in the Constitution. States too have very limited power over immigration as laid out in 28 U.S. Code 1251. Supporters of this kind of arrangement argue that by granting them unqualified power over immigration, the Constitution essentially avoids the confusion that would come about if individual states were granted control over their immigration policy. Moreover, such an arrangement has been judged crucial for self-definition, more specifically, the formation of the nation's identity.

Leadership and Ethics as it Pertains to Immigration Reforms

Ethical Concerns

Ethics of Income Inequalities: studies have linked the widening of the rich-poor gap in America to the increasing size of the immigrant population. According to Carens (2013), mass immigration leads to increased labor supply, and higher numbers of people wishing to work at a lower pay. With this, the incomes for the owners of factors of production increase as those of their workers remain fairly stable, giving rise to income inequalities. Towards this end, illegal immigration reforms are necessary to restore the stability of the labor market.

Ethics of Cheap Labor: It is a common ideology that immigrants are people who live their countries for other countries that they feel accord them better opportunities to work, and make a difference in their own lives. Towards this end, supporters of immigration often argue that it would be cruel for prosperous economies such as the U.S. To deny them these opportunities. However, as has already been shown, the consequences of hiring immigrants for their cheap labor are dire. It is unethical to i) risk the border of the nation and the safety of the 300 million persons in America for the sake of reaping more profits; and ii) leave qualified citizens struggling… [END OF PREVIEW]

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