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Refute an Argument regarding Immigration - Essay Example

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The presence of these ‘aliens’ increases the cost of health care and education. Jobs are lost because they will accept much less pay. Areas with high concentrations of…
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Refute an Argument regarding Immigration
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Illegal Immigrants are the Real Losers The one-sided immigration debate is focused almost exclusively on the harms illegal immigrants perpetrate. The presence of these ‘aliens’ increases the cost of health care and education. Jobs are lost because they will accept much less pay. Areas with high concentrations of illegal immigrants are widely known to experience higher crime rates generally. Seemingly all we here about regarding this issue is the degree to which Americans are suffering due to illegal immigration. I submit it is the immigrants who are suffering to a much greater degree than legal residents. The scales of justice tip away from the illegal immigrant. It tips away from human and civil rights as well.
In the United States, overt discriminatory practices during all phases of the criminal justice system concerning ethnic minorities, especially those of African-American or Hispanic descent have been well-documented throughout the history of the country (Sampson & Lauritsen, 1997). In more recent years, various U.S. criminal agencies have increased their efforts to control a new type of minority group, namely illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America. The U.S. passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 which contains provisions that specifically target these groups by deterring employment opportunities for illegal immigrants and has provided a great deal of funding to the Immigration and Naturalization Service so it could increase efforts to diminish illegal immigration by stiffening border control tactics (McDonald, 1997).
The recent increased implementation of law enforcement measures which are exclusively aimed at minorities and immigrants has occurred not only in the U.S. but in European nations as well. A study that conducted research in both the U.S. and Europe showed that interactions between police agencies and interactions with immigrants are becoming increasingly tense as evidenced by a proliferation of physical and verbal abuse, a growing mutual distrust and an escalating threat of violence. In the U.S., “Discrimination against minorities occurs indirectly as a result of poor legal representation, language problems, high incidences of specific offenses (such as drug-related and immigration violations) and low level of employment status” (Marshall, 1997)
As compared to constituents of the socially dominant faction, illegal immigrants are much more liable to be detained, questioned, and searched by law enforcement officials. Once they have been arrested, minority members are also more likely to suffer police brutality and are more likely to be held in jail while waiting for their trial date instead of having an opportunity to post bond. When tried for a crime, they face a higher probability to be found guilty and are less apt to serve their sentences outside of prison such as serving community service. With the growing sentiment opposing immigration by non-white individuals and families, the discriminatory practices are unlikely to subside any time soon. (Marshall, 1997)
Immigrants built the country but are now an unwanted commodity. The federal government offers a type of amnesty to those already here but it and other governmental entities enacts laws that hamper the path to citizenship and restrict freedoms that are clearly outlined in the Constitution. It has been suggested that the U.S. could consider adopting similar immigration regulations as in the U.K. where a person cannot immigrate without first securing employment. Everybody wins, many jobs are awaiting immigrants who need them as have been evidenced by the number of those illegal aliens now working in the U.S. The U.S. economy also wins because of the higher tax base created by the new citizens the immigrants. Simple human compassion plus common sense minus prejudice is a sorely needed equation for the immigration debate.
Works Cited
Marshall, I. H. “Minorities, Migrants, and Crime: Diversity and Similarity across Europe and the United States” Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (1997).
McDonald, W. F. “Crime and illegal immigration.” National Institute of Justice Journal. Vol. 232. (1997). pp. 2-10.
Sampson, R.J. & Lauritsen, J.L. “Racial and ethnic disparities in crime and criminal justice in the United States.” Ethnicity, Crime, and Immigration: Comparative and Cross-National Perspectives. M. Tonry (Ed.). Chicago, Chicago University Press. (1997). Read More
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