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Immigration Policy and illegal immigrants - Term Paper Example

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Illegal Immigration into the USA: The Unsung Benefits Name Institution Illegal Immigration in the USA: The Unsung Benefits The issue of illegal immigration into the US is a much highlighted and decried one, with the media and other sources being quick to point out the statistics…
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Immigration Policy and illegal immigrants
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Download file to see previous pages For a nation made and flourished by immigrants and rightfully admired by immigrants from across the globe, it is quite paradoxical to mistreat and exploit modern-day immigrants. The unfortunate and negative connotation associated with immigration in the US is also observed to further degrade the lives of Native Americans, African-Americans and Chicanas (Moreno, 2004). These groups are treated as lesser citizens in their own country and sometimes forced to go through the shame of being stereotyped as illegal citizens (Hernandez, 2009). Amidst all these immigration negativity, it is observed that illegal immigrants do have positives especially in regards economic and political considerations. This study will provide a background on the issue of illegal immigration in the US in terms of current immigration policy and the Bracero Program, before discussing the costs and benefits that illegal immigration brings to the nation. The study will be based on the premise that illegal immigration is beneficial to the United States. Background According to the CBO (2006), US immigration policy is anchored on three goals. The first is to reunite families through admission of immigrants who already have family members living in the US. Secondly is to admit skilled labor in order to meet projected labor shortages and lastly to provide refuge to people in risk of political, religious or racial persecution in their home countries. These three goals are the result of evolution of the nation’s immigration policy over time. In terms of illegal immigration, the law defines such individuals as unauthorized aliens who enter the US without legal documentation or who overstay their temporary visa requirements. The policy of dealing with such individuals is through apprehension either at the point of entry or within the US. it has been argued that failure to devise sound and sustainable immigration policy has resulted in the weakening of the American economy, jeopardy of diplomacy and threats to national security (Council on Foreign Relations, 2009). Such views have led to the mistreatment and stigmatization of illegal immigrants in a seemingly nationwide anti-immigration discourse. A look into the efficacy of the current apprehension, repressive and exclusionary policy by the US on illegal immigration indicates that it has largely failed to tackle the issue and instead fueled the anti-immigration sentiments in the population which are more sensationalist-driven rather than fact-based. Border repression and exclusion have temporary prevented illegal immigrants from returning to their countries with particular reference to Mexico, which has contributed to the “problem”, while at the same time leading to increased sophistication and criminalization of illegal immigration. More importantly, it has led to increased aloofness to illegal immigrants by the natives, which is manifested through extreme attention to the issue and vilification of immigrants based on their presumed economic costs at the expense of citizens effectively transforming the issue into an alleged national emergency (Arnold, 2011). The key to understanding the cost/benefit debate and taking a position on it is through analyzing the 1942-1964 Bracero Program which allowed Mexican nationals to work temporarily in agricultural fields, in the US, following laws and diplomatic agreements between the US and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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