Policy refers to a proposed course of action taken by people in power in an attempt to achieve a certain objective. Amnesty for illegal immigrants is at the center of the American public policy since certain criteria have to be employed to assess the legality of granting a pardon to illegal immigrants, who are considered as law-abiding. Amnesty for illegal immigrants has elicited heated debate as lobby groups turn against each other due to their differing opinions. Some groups have been opposed to amnesty while others have been in support of it. Determining what class of immigrants is to be granted amnesty is a hard task given that all Americans have the freedom of expression. This paper looks at the issue of amnesty for illegal immigrants in the US coupled with how elections, the Congress and executive, and public opinion influence the formulation of this public policy.
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The issue of elections is a democratic process that has a great impact on public policy. Given that the US is one of the most democratic countries in the world, the effects of elections on policies cannot be underestimated. People elect leaders of their choice and the elected individuals represent the interests of the electorates. Also, elections are heavily influenced by corporations that go to the extent of sponsoring and funding campaigns for their favorite leaders. This aspect ensures that the elected leaders protect the interests of their financiers. Also, labor organizations have a role to play in influencing the outcome of elections. Therefore, the formulation of public policy on amnesty will depend on the outcomes of elections. Different presidents will have disparate stands on the issue.
The Congress and the Executive
In a democratic state, all the processes must be observed during the passage of laws (Wilke, 2005). In the US, Congress is charged with the responsibility of passing laws, which then go to the president for assent. Therefore, both the Congress and the executive have the power to influence public policy as they may pass or reject a proposed law. If Congress passes a bill that is not in the interest of a certain group, the president has the authority to reject sit and recommend amendments. On the other hand, Congress has the constitutional power to alter legislation that is deemed inappropriate. Therefore, these two arms of government will play a significant role in the formulation of public policies on amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Every American citizen enjoys the freedom of expression. Therefore, lobby groups have a great influence on public policy through their inputs in the form of opinions. For instance, the New Tea Party has been on the front line in the fight against amnesty for immigrants. The tea party has over 51 members in Congress, which makes the group strong enough to influence policies. Therefore, the opinions of such individuals, who are members of the public, influence the formulation of policies on amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Insights Gained Regarding Public Policy
In light of the above-discussed issues on public policy, it is quite evident that certain democratic processes have a great impact on public policies (Victor, 2007). The freedom of expression afforded by the constitution is especially one of the democratic procedures that influence policy formulation. The freedom allows the public to air opinions regarding certain proposals directed to altering certain policies. Workers’ unions are also key avenues for airing opinions. Such groups mobilize support for their favorite leaders in return for the protection of their interests. This way, they are in a position to influence policies since the leaders must abide by the pre-election pacts made between them and the groups. The president and Congress are other influential players. The two offices can reverse important decisions made by each other.
Victor, J. N. (2007). Strategic lobbying demonstrating how legislative context affects interest groups’ lobbying tactics. American Politics Research, 35(6), 826-845.
Wilke, C. (2005). War v. Justice: Terrorism cases, enemy combatants, and political justice in US courts. Politics & Society, 33(4), 637-669.
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