In the past few months, immigration has returned to the forefront of political debate following the government shutdown and as we’re gearing up for the 2020 presidential election. Immigration has been important to the identity of the United States since its beginning, but our system now undoubtedly leaves much to be desired.

We began by discussing why immigration is an issue today- politicians capitalizing on the refugee crisis in Europe and the increase of both legal and illegal immigration to the US as we continue to grow. We talked about the political opinions people have about the subject and misconceptions the sides have about each other. We realized that most people have a similar goal but different ways of reaching it.

We moved on to talking about the problems of our current system and brainstorming how we could fix it. The current legal immigration system is slow and many immigration officials don’t have sufficient training, while many parts of our border are completely unprotected. These and the fact that many people don’t know how to go about getting a visa from their own government sometimes make illegal immigration easier than legal.

Finally, we discussed the benefits and drawbacks of assimilation and how to foster it. We talked about possibly making English the national language and other options that would encourage new immigrants to feel more American and more accepted.