Hendry Miranda Professor Pauline Rodock English 1301 October 10, 2012 Illegal Immigration in America America has always been a country of immigrants. Ever since the birth of this nation, waves of immigrants have come here in search of a happier life. America is known all over the world as a place where people can be free in so many different ways, a place where prosperity is possible for those who work hard and want a better life for their offspring. The dilemma is though, many of those pursuing the “American Dream” come here illegally, and thus breaking the laws of the very same country they want to live in, right from the beginning.
This research exposes some facts about the so heated debate of illegal immigration in America. In recent years America has experienced a record of illegal immigration without precedents. According to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) there are two classes of illegal immigrants. First class corresponds to “over-stayers”, and this refers to those people who at some point legally entered the United States under any kind of visa, and simply stayed once that document expired.
Most of this “over-stayers” are foreigners who came to the United States with student visas, or who came here with tourist/business visas. Even though once they over stay they are considered illegal immigrants, the government has an idea of who those people are because these kind of immigrants need to go through extensive filters in the American embassies of their country in order to get an American visa. On the other hand, the USCIS also has the Illegal Alien classification. These are the people who enter the United States without any kind of legal registry or document.
The vast majority of these illegal aliens enter the United States through the Mexican border. Also, most of these immigrants are of Hipic origins, specifically Mexicans. “Between now and 2020, the Hipic population will increase by 77%, compared to a 69% for Asians, 32% for African Americans, 26% for Native Americans, and 1% for non-Hipic whites, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education. As a result, by 2020 the nation’s adult population, ages 25 to 64, will be 63 percent white, 17 percent Hipic, 13 percent African American, 6 percent Asian, and about 1% native American” highlighted in Hardy, page 5). This illegal immigration issue has am impact in every aspect of the American way of life. Many will say and prove that the illegal immigration problem is out of control. It is estimated that more than 20 million people live illegally in the United States. Those who are pro illegal immigration insist that is wrong to label these people as “criminals” since their only “crime” is to come to America in search of better opportunities, in search of what for any reason they cannot have in their homeland.
They claim that they come here to work, “to do the jobs most American will not do”. Many of these groups believe that amnesty should be granted to those who meet some basic requirements, such as living in the United States continuously for more than 7 years, not having a criminal record etc. Illegal immigration groups have deep roots in many places in America and they have supporter that will do anything in order to protect the “basic rights” of the individuals that find themselves in this dilemma.
A very good example of this, are the so called Sanctuary Cities: “In the United States, a number of cities in the southwest have declared themselves cities of refugee or asylum for undocumented immigrants. In April 2006, for example, Oakland, California city officials declared that would no longer cooperate with federal officials in conducting raids to capture undocumented immigrants” (highlighted in Carlson, page 267). These cities actually facilitate the stay of illegal immigrants by providing free medical care, no checks for obtaining jobs, no checks for renting a home just to name a few.
San Francisco is well known to be a major Sanctuary city for illegal immigrants. Many of the illegal immigrants also use the “Anchor Baby” phenomenon. Meaning they will have kids in American soil who have the right to citizenship, in the hopes that one day they will obtain citizenship too through their American-born kids. They take advantage of the 14th Amendment, which grants citizenship to any person born in American soil. This is an outdated law that, after the end of the American Civil War, granted citizenship to the newly freed African American slaves.
Illegal immigrants do not pay income taxes but at the same time have access to all the benefits provided by the taxpayers. Also the school systems are overcrowded in many states, thanks to the increasing number of illegal immigrants. In many cases, being an illegal immigrant can actually benefit these people: “Texas was the first state to respond, passing legislation granting in-state tuition rates to illegal students in 2001. California followed later that year. Other states that have enacted such laws include Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington” (highlighted in Gilroy, page 16).
Many anti-amnesty groups explain that opposing the amnesty is not a racial issue, but a matter of doing what’s right. The United States of America is a country of law, and by entering illegally they’re already breaking the law, right from the beginning. It’s not being anti immigration, “legal” is the key word here. Granting citizenship to illegal alien would encourage more illegal immigration. Not only that, but it will be taken as an insult by all the legal immigrants who did the right thing and followed the rules of the game to be in the United States.
Most legal immigrants spend a lot of time and effort in order to get here, in some cases having to pay thousands of dollars and having to wait years for that privilege. The dram act is another attempt by illegal-immigrant supporters to legalize their status. It basically would give a path to citizenship to illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, brought by their parents and with no faults of their own. They would have to be under the age of 16, have finished High School, free of criminal records and willing to serve in the military for at least two years.
While this might sound fair for the illegals, then again it is unfair for those who came here legally and many people see this as another invitation to come to this country illegally. It is true, there must be an immigration reform, and a solution must be found to deal with the millions of illegal immigrants currently in America. Until that happens, the government should do all in its power to stop this issue from becoming bigger. The borders need to be secured and the constitution amended so illegal aliens stop taking advantage of the “anchor baby” tactic.
America still is one if not the most multicultural country in the world, Works Cited Carlson, D. (2009). The Border Crossed Us: Education, Hospitality politics, and the Social Consturction of the “illegal immigrant”. Educational Theory, 59(3), 259-277. Gilroy, M. (2009). Battle Continues over In-State Tuition for Illegal immigrants. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed For Quick Review, 74(8), 16-20. Hardy, L. (2007). Coping with Illegal immigrants in School. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condesnsed For Quick Review, 72(9), 4-6.
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