March 2nd, 2013
11 million persons
The term The American Experiment is believed to have emerged from president Thomas Jefferson’s letter to David Hartley on July 2nd, 1787 “I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.” In America, success is referred to as the American Dream, but it is often forgotten that immigrants were and continue to be the primary Dreamers. President John F. Kennedy describes on his book A Nation of Immigrants, the contributions of immigrants since the funding of the first thirteen colonies, and provokes the reader’s intellect to assert that a nation built by immigrants needs immigrants to prevail.
In her book A Team of Rivals, Doris Goodwin quotes Salmon P. Chase, an eventual member of president Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet in the 1850’s, testifying on a trail against the Fugitive State Law “Under the constitution… all the inhabitants of the United States are, without exception, persons, -persons, it may be, not free, persons, held to service… but still, persons,” (113). Some authors explain that Mr. Chase was making reference to The Bill of Rights where the word “person” is used numerous times but the word “citizen” is not mentioned once. This states, that a person living in the US should be accounted as a right-bearer regardless of citizenship status. This is the tumult of the present debate.
40 million (13% of the population) of foreign-born nationals are living in the US according to the US Census Bureau study published on May 2010 (Table 1). While the US Department of Homeland Security ( DHS) published a report stating “In summary, an estimated 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States in January 2011 compared to a revised 2010 estimate of 11.6 million.” This simple data demonstrates the challenges of the US immigration system, shedding a dim light to its problematic procedures and arising questions like, why are there 11.5 million people living in the US without documents of residency? How did they get here? Who is responsible for this?
11.5 million people roughly equals to 274 football fields. Taking this huge visualization of persons living among American citizens is evidence of a problem. Making the most important question in the immigration debate today, how is this problem solved? David Harris, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law asserts “Illegal immigration has long been a subject of controversy in the United States… illegal immigration became a hot topic in the 1980s, provoking action in the Congress. The legislation that resulted, signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, promised to stem the tide of illegal immigration while simultaneously providing a path toward citizenship for those already in the U.S… It is interesting indeed to look back at the passage of the 1986 bill and recall that the path to citizenship for long-settled immigrants was called an amnesty, even by President Reagan himself” (1). The word amnesty means “a general pardon for offenses, especially political offenses, against a government, often granted before any trial or conviction.” according to the website dictionary.com. But upon recent years, the term has developed the new meaning among American society, of allowing all undocumented immigrants presently living in the US to stay. This meaning is also used often to describe an immigration reform, the effort to solve the problem,
According to Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, immigration reform “It's not amnesty, it's earned.” Meaning that a path to citizenship for 11.5 million persons living now in the US is not a gift nor reward for breaking the law. This short but assertive comment approaches to the meaning of immigration reform, declaring that there would be a path to citizenship for undocumented persons but that in order to obtain it, potential beneficiaries would either have to go through a long and arduous process...
Short Paper: Week Five
Saundra D. Hale
In the UnitedStates today, immigration is a hot topic that has left the country divided on how to proceed with immigrationreform. Economic factors, nationalism, and politics all contribute to the immigration debate, as the “us” versus “them” becomes a common theme among American citizens and immigrants. Surveys show that 53% of the population favor deporting illegal immigrants, while 40% believe they should be allowed to stay within the country (Sitler, 2010). Though public opinion of Latin American immigrants has risen over the years, other minorities are not seen as favorable. In addition, 52% of the population feel that immigrants take away employment and housing opportunities for American citizens (Sitler, 2010). Others argue that immigrants simply fill the jobs Americans do not want. No matter the view, immigration is a topic that must be discussed and understood.
To better understand immigration, it is best to define exactly what immigration means. At best, it can described as an individual who seeks a new country due to the need for better resources, economic and educational opportunities, and to secure a more positive future for the individual and their descendants. As time passes and nations change physically,...
November 5, 2013
Republicans vs. Democrats: ImmigrationReform
No matter the political party, most can agree that America’s immigration system is broken. The steps toward fixing the entire immigration process include everything from border security and amnesty plans, to employment eligibility, and everything in between. While democrats are pushing for quick reforms, a compromise between the two parties is far from settled. With nearly 11 million immigrants predicted to be here illegally, efforts to fix immigration seem more than necessary.
Both Democrats and Republicans agree that border security is a definite step in the process to fix immigration. Reforms concerning border security would include adding more personnel, new technology, and better physical borders. Personnel is suspected to nearly double. New technology includes ground sensors and technology that enable border personnel to respond quicker to border infringements (Bash and Barrett). For republicans, security is a top priority. The GOP not only relate illegal immigration to this insufficient security but also believe it would prevent transports of illegal contraband, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and other types of cartel activity. Democrats also see the need for the heightened security. President Barack Obama and his administration have developed a plan that involves an...
In the past few years, immigration has been a great debate in the UnitedStates. Many people strongly believe that there needs to be a stronger immigrationreform. The UnitedStates truly does need to help fix the growing problem of illegal immigration. Although many believe immigrants helped shape the country into what it is today, but today’s society is quite different from before. There are many reasons the UnitedStates needs stronger immigration laws. The reasons include preserving the English language, the safety of the U.S. citizens and the problems the illegal immigrants bring, the fact that they are taking away jobs and our job security is at risk, and not to mention the growing costs of providing for the immigrants and trying to secure the boarder with Mexico. The UnitedStates needs to reform the immigration laws.
Spanish is a growing language in the UnitedStates, and it can cause problems, not to mention the hassle. If a person is speaking Spanish, but is in an English environment, it can cause misunderstandings and complications. It’s hard to communicate to someone if they do not understand the language you are speaking. Teaching a person a language they are new to is...
...Immigration to the UnitedStatesImmigration has been a very large topic for UnitedStates government officials in recent years. Many people talk about the increase in immigrants from other nations, primarily from Mexico, and opinions vary between each person. It is suggested by some that immigrants cost native born Americans jobs and abuse resources like welfare that American taxes pay for. Others suggest that America’s economy is stimulated by growing immigrant populations and that workers help keep the American economy strong. Both arguments focus on the financial benefits that either getting rid of, or embracing, immigrants give to the UnitedStates. It is a selfish argument meant to appeal to American’s, but it does not take in to account the good it does for the immigrants themselves. It is not an issue of economy, but an issue of humanity that shows why immigration makes America better. In the article titled “Sophies Choice,” by Anita Maddali, she says that “The statements of anti-immigrant advocates minimize the consequences that certain policies have on immigrant children,” (Maddali 498). Children of immigrants are only one group that is harmed by strict immigration practices and those policies show a lack of empathy for those in need. Allowing immigrants to be pardoned and allowed to stay in the country will help...
April 28, 2013
The UnitedStates as a country faces challenges of weak economic growth and dramatic levels of projected growth in the federal debt. With ImmigrationReform it can help the UnitedStates gain economic growth and production of goods. The historical experience of legalization under the 1986 ImmigrationReform and Control Act states that comprehensiveimmigrationreform would raise wages, create jobs, and generate additional tax revenue. Taking the experience of IRCA, it’s been estimated that comprehensiveimmigrationreform would yield at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) over 10 years. Many economists believe that immigrationreform provides a net benefit. It increases demand and productivity and helps drive innovation for all of us to benefit. Relaxed immigration rules could encourage one to start businesses, increase demand for housing, raise tax revenues and help reduce the budget deficit. The impacts of immigrationreform suggest that it will have important economic growth to the country.
There are over 11 million...
...Running head: Immigration
Which Way Home by Rebecca Cammisa, is a documentary that follows a group of children, between the ages 9 and 17. The children in the film are from Central America and are attempting to cross the Mexican border into America. The film demonstrates the struggling lives
that these children have in their native country, which is why they decided to migrate. On the
journey to America, they find out all the other dangers and different struggles they have to face,
questioning their decision of migrating. The documentary talks about the increased amounts of
children migrating alone to the UnitedStates. Under the program, Unaccompanied Child Immigrants, border patrol apprehends about 100,000 children trying to enter the US each year and
many of those children, sadly, are found dead. Children found either around or on the US-Mexican border, are either taken by American or Mexican patrol officers. Those apprehended are then
sent to either an American shelter or a Mexican shelter to await deportation.
The documentary focuses on two particular children, Kevin a 14 year old and Fito a 13
year old. Both are migrating from Honduras which is were the majority of unaccompanied children come from. These children have to travel 1, 450 miles, alone, just to get to the GuatemalanMexican border. Once in Mexico, these children have to travel...
March 12, 2012
Dr. Kimberly Stanley
In the UnitedStates of America, we live in a sea of opportunity. Many people come from other countries to live in America to explore those opportunities, but the laws governing immigration have failed to change with the ever-increasing immigrant population. We watch as Border States deal with the rising costs to support immigrants and wonder whether this was what the founding fathers had in mind when the first Immigration Laws were passed. We wonder about the effects on America’s economy as our immigrant population work in this country then send these U.S. dollars to their home country to support their families. We observe an ever-changing landscape continually affected by the legal and illegal immigrants who land in our great country. We contemplate whether America is the land of opportunity and the land of the free, or simply a place for immigrants to land and live for free. As citizens, it is not only our right, but also our duty, to question our leaders and our laws particularly when those laws no longer appear to fit America’s vision. Immigration laws have remained stagnant for far too long and, although immigrants were the founding fathers of our nation, it is time to examine America’s position before the social and economic costs become insurmountable.
America’s founding fathers...
The UnitedStates has over an estimated one million immigrants, both legal and illegal, entering the country each year. The total number of illegal immigrants is said to be close to 11 million. A few issues which arise from this are the strain imposed on funding for welfare, employment, education system, and healthcare. So what can be done about this? According to a recent Gallup survey, two-thirds of the American population is in favor of certain measures regarding immigration. Two major areas mentioned are increasing border security and requiring employers to verify status of immigration for those seeking work. Although there is support for the tightening of U.S. borders, the overall results reflected a more empathetic and supportive view.
Of those surveyed, 85% percent support the requirement of employers to verify that all new hires are living in the U.S. legally. 72% were in favor of allowing undocumented immigrants the chance to become legal residents or citizens if they met certain requirements. 71% would like to see a system imposed which tracks foreigners entering the U.S. through airports and seaports. 71% support the increase of visas for legal immigrants who are trained in an advanced skill, specifically technology and science, and 68% would like to see an increase on the spending of security measures at U.S. borders. There are other...