Essay on Public Policy & Social
Public policies are developed based on the issues that trouble the members of society to the point that there is a necessity to take an action. According to Larry N. Gerston (2010), “issues preceding those policies develop when individuals with similar problems are forced to cope, without solution, for an unacceptable period of time”(p. 22). Public policy problems can be solved by means of effective public policy making. Illegal immigration has become a public policy problem. The problem is becoming more and more acute because of indecisiveness on the part of policy-makers. Thesis statement: Illegal immigration has become a public policy problem, which requires the proper solutions by means of effective public policymaking process, supported by public and political awareness of the significance of the policy for economic, political and cultural development of the nation.
- Outline of the major points
- The scope and nature of the public policy problem
The scope of the public policy problem like immigration or illegal immigration is large and expanding. According to James Hollifield and colleagues, “Illegal immigration also drew attention as a prominent public policy problem”(p.102). The statistical data shows that in 2008, there were about 11.9 million of illegal immigrants in the United States (Illegal Immigration Facts & Statistics, 2014). According to the research conducted by the center of Immigration Studies, if immigration continues to grow at current levels, the population of the United States will increase “from 301 million today to 468 million in 2060 – a 167 million, or 56% increase” (Illegal Immigration Facts & Statistics, 2014). The nature of the public policy problem in concluded in the fact that illegal immigrants have no rights in the United States, but at the same time, they have negative impact on the development of the U.S. economy. Illegal immigration leads to increased unemployment. As a result, current immigration policy is ineffective.
- How the problem came to public and political awareness
The problem of illegal immigration came to public and political awareness because of considerable changes in social, political and economic life of the country. Public awareness of the problem like illegal immigration is supported by certain concerns over national security. Ideological pressures influence public interpretation of current immigration laws (Koven & Götzke, 2010). Americans who oppose immigration policy explain their negative attitude to policy implementation by the threat to unemployment, the threat to cultural identity, and national security. Political awareness of the problem is caused by the functioning of interest groups, such as human rights groups and business groups. As the United States in the nation of immigrants, political parties are aware of the significance of the issue in the political development of the nation (Koven & Götzke, 2010).
- The evolution of the related public policy
The evolution of the related public policy is connected with considerable changes in decision making of policy-makers. The problem of illegal immigration begins as an individual issue, although it is closely connected with “the evolution of personal topics into widely shared aggravation that makes such dilemmas suddenly political and, therefore, candidates for public policy activity” (Gerston, 2010, p. 22).
- Level of government and the actors involved
The level of government involved in public policy making to address the public policy problem of illegal immigration include central and district levels of government. Both central and district levels of government have opportunities for involvement in decision making regarding immigration issues. The actors involved in policy making process concerning illegal immigration include civil society, business community, public and private institutions. These actors have access to the resources that may affect the policy making process.
- The intergovernmental structure and political concerns
The intergovernmental structure plays an important role in policy making process in the United States. Certain political concerns regarding immigration policy should be taken into consideration by policy makers. According to researchers, “concerns about integration into a cohesive national identity have been enhanced by fears about Islamic fundamentalism following September 11, 2001 attacks”(Koven & Götzke, 2010, p.178). As the effectiveness of immigration policy depends on ideologies of immigrants, certain political concerns may be connected with the concept of citizenship or human rights issues.
- Conflicting public opinion and impact on policy solutions
There are conflicting public opinions regarding immigration policy. The majority of American citizens have positive views on immigrants. They consider that “immigrant benefit the U.S. economically and culturally”. However, there are many Americans who state that “they are a net burden on the state” (Albertson & Gadarian, 2013, p. 288). It is known that recent immigration policies were aimed at preventing the spread of clandestine immigration in the United States, as well as guaranteed a “minimum level of rights to immigrants, even to those without a residence permit” (De Montis et al., 2012, p. 1227). Nevertheless, many Americans opposed these policies, explaining the significant role of diversifications in human society, which lead to conflicts between cultures.
- The approaches to policy formulation, adoption, and evaluation
The approaches to policy formulation, adoption, and evaluation play an important role in policy making process. Policy formulation process requires high level of political diplomacy and effective negotiation as this process takes place within a large political arena. Policy approaches to address immigration issues require public involvement. The rational approach is the most appropriate for finding solutions to immigration policy problems as it reflect real-world goals. It is necessity to define the problem, social values and policy goals in order to explore the major policy alternative solutions. Policy adoption process is based on the awareness of the significance of the issue. Policy evaluation should be focused on design, explanation and testing of various methods to address policy evaluation issues, including case study evaluation, needs analysis, realistic analysis and other methods.
- The suggested policy direction (continuation, change or termination) and future impact
The brief overview of immigration public policy problem shows that illegal immigration influences practically every area of public concern. As a result, the suggested policy direction should be based on change of current public policy decisions. It is necessary to make certain changes in order to accelerate the economic development of the nation. Generally speaking, today’s immigration law in the United States requires reformation. According to Briggs, it is necessary to make “labor-market-oriented changes to immigration policy”, which could form a solid foundation for such reformation (qtd. in Peach, 2010, p. 111). Although changes in immigration law cannot have significant impact on the causes of illegal immigration, they may contribute to finding the ways to improve economic development.
Thus, it is necessary to conclude that the public policy problem like illegal immigration is really serious. As public policy problem affect public policy implementation, it is necessary to find the proper solutions to the problem of illegal immigration. The public response to existing problems and the solutions to these problems should be based on positive public experience.
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