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The Divisive Issue of Immigration - Essay Example

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In the April 10, 2006 issue of Time magazine an article by Karen Tumulty tried to shed light on the complicated problem plaguing the United States of America. Her reporting initially focused on Senator John McCain's setting a chain reaction of events that will modify the nation's immigration laws with the goal of transforming 11 million illegal immigrants into bona fide citizens of the United States…
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Download file to see previous pages History seemed to repeat itself but this time the mob was not trying to expel the illegal immigrants; instead, their supporters - relatives, friends and neighbors - banded together to become a mob fighting for their right to stay in America. In the same article Karen Tumulty recorded the events of the recent months and found something that according to her most Americans were caught unaware including the Senators who were supposed to be on top of the problem:
There was the scene in Apache Junction, Ariz., in which a few Hispanic students raised a Mexican flag over their high school and another group took it down and burned it. In Houston the principal at Reagan High School was reprimanded for raising a Mexican flag below the U.S. and Texas ones, in solidarity with his largely Hispanic student body. Tom Tancredo, the Republican from Colorado who has become Congress's loudest anti-immigrant voice, said his congressional offices in Colorado and Washington were swamped by more than 1,000 phone calls, nearly all from people furious about the protests in which demonstrators "were blatantly stating their illegal presence in the country and waving Mexican flags."
When the author intimated that the attempt to reform the immigration law was dividing the country it is clear that it was an understatement.
But looking at it from a purely social perspective is merely scratching the surface for there are more powerful forces encouraging the migrants from across the border to cross the line. Migrant workers risking life and limb to come over to the United States is simply in need of better employment. For employers the long line of workers responding to the help wanted sign means that there is a great chance of getting the best man for the job at a lower cost. And the incentive of employers to continually shield or encouraged illegal aliens t is simply a matter of exploiting a competitive labor market. Here is where differing interests begin to conflict, while two views of how a government should function comes to mind. The first view states that the federal government should function as an organism therefore each individual living in the United States is just part of the whole and therefore each person's welfare is subject to what will benefit the whole. The other view states the converse which is that the federal government is a mechanism created by the people to serve the people. An example of the second view coming to play in this national problem was addressed by Tumulty, referring to a particular minority - some members of the Republican Party- and this is what she said, "The business interests in the party base don't want to disrupt a steady supply of cheap labor for the agriculture, construction, hotel and restaurant industries, among others." Therein lies the bone of contention. To some, the illegal migrant workers are a boon to the economy while to those struggling to get a piece of the pie, they are a threat.
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