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The elite model manifests policies that are a reflection of the interest of powerful and influential people within a society as opposed to the demands of the mass (Dye, 2002). On the other hand, the public choice model believes in the emergence of mutually beneficial policies from collective decision-making despite the fact that individuals can generally act in the pursuit of personal interests (Dye, 2002). According to Newton (2008), the politics surrounding immigration policies in the U.S keeps changing over time.

Elite Model vs. Public Choice Theory Influence on Immigration Policies Today

The elite model best explains today’s immigration policies as opposed to the public choice theory. The immigration rhetoric is distanced from the public debate but exclusive to the elite debates (Newton, 2008)  Moreover, the public choice model argues that the government must be able to cater for political and economic demands, and hence plays more the role of spectator, or critic than of a decision-maker. Newton (2008) further asserts that powerful elites use rhetoric to attributably define and group selective groups of people which shape the policies and their contexts. Today’s immigration policy is justified by rhetoric generated by scientific expertise that can only be guided by the elites. Additionally, elites use carefully crafted rhetoric to associate immigration ideologies to popular values within the historical context (Newton, 2008). On the other hand, the public choice theory has too narrowly focused orientation for explaining policy outcomes (Dye, 2002). The U.S. immigration policy often contradicts public opinion (Newton, 2009). Therefore, the public choice model rarely describes the current immigration policies.

Barriers to Comprehensive Immigration Reform

The major barrier to comprehensive immigration reform concerns the varying logic, beliefs, morals, and values among the parties involved in regards to political, economic, and social perspectives. These include politicians, government bureaucrats, lawyers, interest groups, corporations, public safety officials, American citizens, and foreign governments among others. For example, the President has blamed the Republicans for exercising veto against the Dream Act by refusing to sponsor the Act (Hughes, 2011). The President believes that the veto is an effort to frustrate his re-election bid considering that he received support from the immigrant group in the previous election (Hughes 2011; Saujani, 2010). Another barrier involves a lack of adequate resources by law enforcement authorities to secure a safe transit (Saujani, 2010).

Conclusion

The elite model is responsible for the depiction of the current immigration policies. The elite control the influential divisions of the country while the public acts as spectators who critic what have already been offered. The barrier to comprehensive immigration policies depends on the lack of agreement between the parties under the influence of various elite groups.

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