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Opposition to Immigration - Essay Example

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That is pork barrel politics of a different sort. It does not involve any direct government spending, but politicians still keep their constituents happy, merely by being in sync with popular perception. When the majority is convinced that the economic maladies of the country are caused by unbridled immigration then most politicians, true to their trait, simply agree…
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Opposition to Immigration
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Download file to see previous pages In a strict economic sense 2006 has been a good year till now. As a matter of fact, even from 2004, the economy has been looking up. Economic growth which was 4.2 % in 2004, was 3.5% in 2005; which is still good. Unemployment at 4.7% is quite an achievement compared to the 8.4% figure for Europe. However it looks as if it will take more than that to whistle a happy tune. ("The United States ...")
The steadily increasing trade deficit, Katrina, the involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, our standoff with Iran, and the regular outflow of jobs through outsourcing are enough to dampen the spirit of the average American. Add 12 million illegal immigrants. And a pall of gloom descends over middle class America.
Fact is many Americans are seriously concerned about the immigration issue. It has become a subject that has dominated a variety of forums and has spawned several localized movements. One such local unit that called itself "Minutemen" patrolled Arizona's border with Mexico during April 2005. This anti-immigration sentiment is sometimes referred to as "nativism". ("Immigration Policy Issues")
"Nativism" is not new to America. It first reared its head at the beginning of the 19th century when hordes of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe began to pour in. The consequence of that nativist stirring was "a 1924 law establishing a quota system that sought to limit entry" into the United States. (Campo-Flores)
The more recent immigration issues however relate primarily to illegal immigrants, and the conviction in some quarters, that the huge inflow of these "undocumented" workers is the cause for the country's woes.
In the 1980s the American people were highly unsatisfied with the Federal policies of the 1970s and early 1980s. In 1982 the country was in a deep recession. The percent of businesses that went bankrupt increased by 50% when compared to the previous year, agricultural exports fell, as did the price of crops. Interest rates rose, inflation was up from 6.2% in 1973 to around 13.5% and unemployment was at a significant high of 7%. (Teacher's Guide). Federal deficits soared throughout this period. This was probably the worst period in America's economic history since the Depression of 1929.
During the period 1980 to 1990 Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) estimated the number of illegal immigrants to be around 2.6 million. The general sentiment then was that

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these undocumented immigrants were the cause of all economic woes. As a consequence we had the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. The primary aim of this Act was to protect the jobs of the domestic workforce. It also sought to punish employers of undocumented workers. (The Feminization of Immigration)
The immigration issue is currently seen as a bigger problem than it was ever before. It's not surprising. For instance, Gordon County, Georgia had an immigrant population of just 1% in 1990. Today that figure stands at 12%. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, illegal immigrants currently make up 24% of agricultural labor, 14% of construction workers and 9% of manufacturing jobs. (Grow)
The Bill that was passed by the House last December, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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