Illegal Immigration The United States has charmed Immigrants from around the world. For generations, people sought after the protective wings of America as settlers, opportunists, pioneers, explorers, and missionaries legally and illegally. America was said to be the land of freedom, the land of opportunity and as the Declaration of Independence famously wrote a land of “certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. ” America has become a nation full of culture, a patchwork of people and a promise of hope for many.
While so many Illegal Immigrants reap the benefits on American soil, America continues to strive for a balanced reform. History America has always been a nation of immigrants. From the early sass’s, America was the land of opportunity for many settlers and with plenty of room for growth and immeasurable hopes to live a better life. Asian immigrants were scarce in the early sass’s. In 1850, Chinese peasants flocked to California during the gold rush. The Chinese were suppressed by poverty and over population.
They were like many other immigrants who intended to work hard, make a lot of money and return to their countries rich. These Chinese workers searching for a better life were used as cheap labor to work the gold mines and build the railway. Americans viewed the Chicane’s culture and mannerisms as inferior. American’s believed the Chinese were too different to integrate into the American culture. With a sudden burst of immigrants and an opposition from the natives, the government imposed extreme suppression on the Chinese causing many hardships.
Congress passed a law In 1882 called the Chinese Exclusion Act. This law ended recruitment of Chinese laborers and made immigrants in the country ineligible for citizenship. HIGH Educational Foundation, 2010) Citizenship was granted to those of North and Western European descendants by the Act of 1924, completely excluding Asians. The quota system was so well established that little was done to challenge the law. The 1924 Act’s basic purpose was to preserve an ideal American society. Even In 1943, Congress repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act but TLD touch the Act of 1924. Wangled, 2012) As American territory was expanding, so was the population. America obtained many territories from Mexico but the same discrimination didn’t apply to Mexicans as Asians. Numerous Mexicans were entering the country until the Great Depression as intense pressure from the government wanted a reduced number of Mexican immigrants. Then in the sass’s, wartime labor shortages sparked a Bracers (meaning manual labor) program sending laborers from Mexico up north for Jobs. A wave of unskilled Mexicans spread throughout most of the nation.
In 1 954, to decrease the surplus of illegal immigration, law enforcement initiated “Operation Wetback’s”, using a derogatory term associated with illegal immigrants who swam over the ROI Grandee to get to America. Operation Wetback’s” was initiated over concern of illegally exploitation of Bracers workers. (Wangled, 2012) The Bracers program legally contracted Mexican nationals. Many Bracer’s were experienced farm laborers and became an Important part of American agriculture. An estimated 4. 8 million intended to end with the war but remained in effect until Congress refused to renew it in 1964. Wangled, 2013) Immigration sat on the back burner until 1965 when Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act. Congress attempted to tie immigration to desired skills and family relationships by abolishing the national origins quota system. The law was seen as a huge contributor to end discrimination. This policy was at the height of the civil rights movement, where ideas of freedom, democracy and equality were transforming the nation. The impact of this law may have been underestimated. New immigrants tripled in three decades after the law went into effect.
It marked a radical break from previous policy and has led to the demographic changes we see in America today. (Wangled, 2012) A demand for low wage workers kept undocumented labor coming across the borders. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 was the biggest overhaul of immigration in decades and included a pathway for citizenship. This bill allowed immigrants, who lived in America since 1982, to apply for legal status. This act also included penalties for hiring illegal immigrants and raised the annual immigration to 540,000. Record high immigration still flowed through the system.
The Immigration Act of 1990 revised limits on legal immigration and eliminated a persons grounds for exclusion including beliefs, statements and associations. The reform didn’t set guidelines for illegal immigration. For every illegal caught, another slipped through the border. A bill was put in front of the House of Representatives in 1996 calling for a tightening of borders. This bill was implemented by doubling Border Patrol Agents, called for building fences at key border points, and approved checking the immigration status of applicants. The immigration policies were progressing till the wake of 2001.
A dramatic reform was demanded after the September 1 1, 2001 attacks in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. In 2002, the creation of the Homeland Security Department was tasked with many objectives. Immigration was then further divided into citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection, and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (She, Green, & Smith, 2013) States were still having trouble with illegal immigrants populating their boundaries. Some states passed strict reform bills in attempt to solve a crisis they did not create.
The goal of the law was to enforce laws already on the books and adopt tougher stands on illegal immigration by identifying, prosecuting and deporting those who were here illegally. Arizona took a strong stance on illegal immigration in April 2010. Their bill was tryingly criticized and stated it undermined basic rights we cherish as Americans. This case was brought all the way up to the Supreme Court which agreed to hear the constitutionality of Arizona strict immigration law. The strict Arizona law was upheld by the Supreme Court stating that states reserved the right to impose their own sanctions. She, Green, & Smith, 2013) The biggest immigration policy in years happened in June 2012. Using executive authority, Bark Obama halted the deportation of some illegal immigrants brought to the U. S. As children and gave them a status allowing them to work without fear of preparation. This policy was an effort to target illegal immigrants who pose a greater threat to society. The order allows illegal children to work for two years but does not assure them a permanent place in this country. (She, Green, & Smith, 2013) Issues most Americans don’t want to take.
Restaurants, hotels, nursing homes and agriculture may have a hard time functioning without the production from low wage workers. Illegal’s searching for work are flexible and will move where they are needed. Immigrants have proven to be hardworking and strive to learn their trade. (Kate, 005) A March 2013 poll showed a majority of Americans supported a way for undocumented workers to stay in America. Many people believe there should be a road paved to citizenship. The poll found more Americans believed immigrants strengthened society more than burden it. Wangled, 2013) The economic consensus is that immigrants raise living standards by boosting demand and increasing productivity, contributing to innovation while lowering prices and giving them a better standard of living. Illegal immigration happens in many ways. Border crossing, overstaying a legal sis, and using falsified documents are a big portion of the problem. Immigrants will cross the borders as long as there are employers willing to hire them. Employers take part in sending a message to illegal workers that they are welcome.
Strict policies and frequent enforcement against illegal immigration have shown to be effective in reducing the population of illegal immigrants. (Vaughn, 2013) Greater than 10 million illegal immigrants are estimated living in the U. S, and over one thousand more arrive daily. A huge increase in illegal’s have moved to the Midwest and southern states aging Jobs and creating a resentment from some residents in these states. Many illegal’s have few marketing skills and work for less money. There is such a support system between Mexicans that they have a weaker incentive to learn English but need benefits and services such as healthcare.
There is even a change in culture by refusing to learn English and harmonize with American society. Solid evidence supports the fact that low cost employment from immigrants lowers domestic workers wages. Decreasing illegal immigrants could improve the quality of Jobs and more Americans would likely take them. Kate, 2005) Federal government has concerns about illegal entry into the country. U. S. Raids are costly and may require hundreds of agents, months of preparation and have complex logistics. Enforcement of workplace immigration laws are strongly enforced but they are not a substitute for border enforcement.
Illegal immigration needs to be addressed beyond the border by deterring the people employing them with harsh penalties. (Vaughn, 2013) Reform The pathway for citizenship has been a long and hard fight for some. Policies on immigration encouraged skilled workers to migrate with a purely economic goal in mind. Some extreme policies were implemented and then people took notice especially when children weren’t going to school. “That made people say” Wait a minute. This isn’t Just about immigration; it’s about families and people and the way we treat one another. (Kari, AAA, Para. 33) People wanted policies that encouraged family unity and felt a moral obligation to protect people fleeing persecution. There is talk that America could face a labor shortage if we don’t close the gap and group of senators introduced a bill which included a plan for illegal’s to obtain legal documentation. May 2013, The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a comprehensive reform bill. In June 2013, there was a Senate reform bill that offered legislation for unauthorized immigrants a pathway to citizenship. Wangled, 2013) The bill coined “Gang of Eight” would strengthen border security, speed up implementation of the government’s “e-verify’ employee checking system and offer a thirteen year path to citizenship that would be unavailable to most unauthorized immigrants. Applicants would need to arrive before January 1, 2012, pay $1,000 fine along with back taxes, learn English, pass a criminal background check, and remain employed. Kari, Bibb) A goal of this proposal is to create a better immigration system and make it easier to operate for foreign born people and their families. People illegally crossing the border are breaking the law.
People overstaying their visas or illegal documentation should be deported and not rewarded. Illegal’s are considered social and economic burdens to law abiding citizens. Unauthorized immigrants use many local and states services such as schools, healthcare and law enforcement, and don’t pay into these funds costing more to tax payers. Many immigrant adults arriving to the U. S. Eave little schooling and this can be a huge reason they live in poverty and use welfare programs. A problem is their lack of education and low skill set for their low income and not necessarily their illegal status or their unwillingness to work.
Conclusion ‘migration continues to be at the heart of intense debate. It is evident that both documented and undocumented immigrants contribute to many aspects of life. The fact is a large population of immigrants have a little schooling and low incomes, despite them working. The current immigration policy has significantly increased the number of lower educated people. One immigration question that should be addressed is: Should we allow so many uneducated immigrants to compete with American workers for low wage Jobs and government assistance programs?