What's Behind United States Immigration
Mellizza Lansang EN102-21169 Prof: M Jacob Broderick 9 October 2012 What is behind US Immigration? - What's Behind United States Immigration introduction?? Illegal immigration has been a huge problem of United States for a long period of time. There are two common ways of how people come to US illegally; first is to cross the border between Mexico and US; second is to overstay when they come to US as a visitor. Why do people want to come to the United States if they are going to be here illegally?
Simply, because those illegal immigrants want to have a better life than what they have back in their homeland; but the question here is why then did people come to the United States illegally if they are not getting any benefits? As I asked myself this question, my mind begun to think about the reason of why many illegal immigrants risk their freedom by coming over to a country where they must hide. There must be something that this country is offering to everyone regardless of their legal status. As I was a teenager I had friends who were siblings, but they were undocumented.
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They came to United States with their parents when they were around five and six year-old to visit their relatives. They overstayed in US and find a job to support their daily needs. Now, their parents are working as caregivers in a private nursing home. Their family now has a stable and better life and the siblings are now both in college, one is in a community college and the older one is finishing her studies in Arizona State University because she got a full scholarship. Now, my question is answered; the government or any other organization, association, or even private individual are giving undocumented people benefits.
In this case they have given employment that could be offered to an American and scholarship that could be given to an American student. They even have this “TIN number,” I wasn’t sure what “TIN number” is, but I was told that this number was given to them as a visitor and can be used to open a bank account. I am not envious of what they have gained despite of their legal status. My point here is that Americans are giving those undocumented people a reason to stay here in US and they are giving reasons to those people who are in need in other country to come to US.
I often wondered how United States let these things happened? What could be the reason behind the ignorance of our immigration authorities? I also asked myself what if there were no illegal aliens; would United States be more progressive or our economy might just fall further down? Although I had bad experiences with undocumented immigrants, I still recognize all the hard work they are doing for their families back home and their help to our business owners. Most of them are working with low paying jobs such as sales associates in a small thrift store, dish washers, and service crew members to support their needs.
They also give us affordable food prices, without them prices in the market will be higher than what it is now, but don’t you think they are taking jobs that are supposed to be jobs for Americans? It really intrigues me how the United State can solve the problem of illegal immigration. With that being said I intend to do some reading of different people’s perspective regarding this matter. I began with an article that our professor assigned for us to read. It is called “Amnesty? ” from America Magazine written by John F.
Kavanaugh, a Catholic Priest and a Philosophy professor in St. Louis University. In this article, he had mentioned that most of the illegal aliens are hard-working, family oriented people who came in United States to have a better future. Kavanaugh argues that many illegal immigrants are not criminals, but they are people who are hoping to have a better future for their love ones instead. Kavanaugh points out that the surge of immigration was a direct effect of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the negative results that affects the Mexican farmers.
Kavanaugh mentions the anti-immigration groups’ “seething hostility”; these are people who oppose granting amnesty or legal status to undocumented immigrants; but Kavanaugh disagree with these people, as he said “standard of ethics, justice or charity for a nation that see itself as a Judeo-Christian and humane,” he’s trying to persuade Americans that we should comply to the “higher law” by which he refers to the Bible, rather than following the human law. He also gave example of the leaders of our nation such as Martin Luther King, Jr. who fought with the unjust laws. Not taking action wouldn’t help anybody; Kavanaugh proposed giving “legal status to anyone who contributes to our common good. ” He also suggests considering the immigrant’s status for amnesty. This article could attract many Christian readers because he used the bible in his argument, but I don’t find Kavanaugh’s article to be persuasive and I had a hard time agreeing with his view. In my point of view church and state are two different institutions; not everything in the Bible can be apply in our government law.
I didn’t like how he used the undocumented family’s status as a reason for them to be here illegally because it is not fair to the immigrants who worked hard and who loan money to come to United States. I admit that NAFTA could be one of the reasons of their sufferings in their life; it’s still not enough reason to immigrate to United States illegally. I didn’t like the argument that people who contribute to the community should not be labeled “illegal. ” They should be called “illegal”, illegal means not authorized and as illegal immigrants they are not authorized to be here in the United States that what makes them “illegal. Kavanaugh used one of our leaders, Martin Luther King Jr. who challenged the law, which according to Kavanaugh is “unjust law. ” What’s wrong with his statement? Civil Right is far different from immigration; I think a country has every right to control every person who enters its border. Kavanaugh’s article has poor persuasion because he did not discuss the outcome of giving amnesty to all illegal immigrants in the United States, it may persuade some Catholic readers but not me and I am Catholic myself. He also did not provide any information about the economical side of his argument.
His solution of giving amnesty was obviously came out because he was a priest, but apparently he didn’t think about the outcome. Second article was also assigned for us from our professor. It is called “Why Blame Mexico? ” written by Fred Reed. Fred Reed was a former marine and Vietnam War veteran; he was also a technology columnist in The Washington Times and a freelance journalist currently residing in Jalisco, Mexico. His article was so sarcastic but powerful, as his first statement says “To grasp American immigration policy, one needs only remember that the United States frowns on smoking while subsidizing tobacco growers. Reed argues that the reason why there are many illegal immigrants is not because many people are in need of jobs but because Americans benefits from them and we are tolerating them by hiring them even though we know they are “illegal”. American employers want a cheap labor and many illegal immigrants particularly Mexicans would do low-paying hard jobs such as landscaping or cleaning your septic tank. Reed also points out how organized the immigration policies in Mexico are. According to Reed “People who want to visit Mexico will automatically have a 90-day visa and anyone ho wants to reside in Mexico will have a minimum of one thousand dollars income and must be fluent in Spanish,” as he said “It’s the national language. What sense does it make to have citizens who can’t talk to anybody? ” Reed focuses on the business owners who hire them; without employers who want cheap labor, Mexicans would have no reason to come to United States and gamble for their being. Reed didn’t suggest any solutions for the issue but he emphasized that Americans are the reason of its own problem. For me, Reed’s article was more convincing than Kavanaugh’s article.
Even though Reed uses sarcasm, it made it more clearly to me of why our government can’t handle this huge issue. There are three main reasons of why this huge issue is still happening and the illegal immigrants are continuing to grow as many years past. One of the reasons is the border, US have many US Border Patrol who guard the US border every second of the day, so I couldn’t understand, despite of all the authorities who are watching over the border there are still hundreds of Mexicans cross over it, there must be something wrong that is beyond my ability to find out.
Second is the visiting policy, I suppose there is information given to our immigration offices from the visitor from other countries which includes addresses where they will be staying, contact information’s of the person that they are visiting; so why can’t they track them? Third, there are thousands of employers that are taking advantage of the illegal immigrants for their cheap labor. I didn’t like how he compared Mexico’s policy to the United States, no one would like to reside in a country with no opportunity, and of course it’s easy for them to figure out their visa settings.
Reed is an American but in Reed’s article he’s pointing out what’s wrong in American laws; he also wants to get rid of hiring illegal immigrants to solve this issue. Perhaps Reed’s suggestion of jailing the employers who hires illegal immigrants might decrease the amount of people who are tolerating this illegal activity. I came across a documentary about former migrants titled “The Other Side of Immigration. ” This documentary was “based on a survey of over 700 families in Michoacan, Mexico about 1000 miles south of El Paso, Texas. This film demonstrate how did the illegal immigration issue in the United States first occur and why it is the population rate is getting higher. First, Mexicans farmers are blaming the North American Free Trade Agreement because they cannot compete to the lower prices produce from the United States and Canada. One of the Mexican citizen said “Everyone knows you can go to the US and get ahead faster,” that’s what everybody believed. Due to this event in addition to the lack of opportunity to countryside farmers there are many towns in Mexico where half of the population has emigrated to work in United States illegally. [In] 1970 to 2008 the rate of Mexican immigrants jumped from 760 thousand to 12. 5 million, [because of many different reasons]. ” Second is corruption. The State and federal government of Mexico provide money to the local government to help their citizens building businesses, but the problem is the local government does not inform their citizen about the subsidy programs, so no one knows about the programs existence unless they actually work in the municipality.
The people that being interviewed also point out the how the United States waste money by deporting undocumented Mexicans and building fences on the borderline instead of investing it to their country, it may help them to stand up in their own and may reduce the rate illegal immigrants in US. This film has combined Kavanaugh’s and Reed’s perspective in it. This film has accomplished making sympathy to Mexican farmers who were forced to emigrate their town and left their families behind in order to provide them by working in the United States.
I am sure Kavanaugh will agree on the first half of the film, as the film explained the Mexican farmers’ circumstances, but film was more persuasive as it successfully created sympathy without explicit religious belief by Kavanaugh. In addition, the film also talked NAFTA which Kavanaugh also mentioned in his article, but in my opinion American government are only doing what is best for our economy and its people, so it shouldn’t be a reason why small farmers are suffering in Mexico; Mexican government should help their country to solve their own issue regarding NAFTA, rather than blaming their neighbor.
Second is Reed’s article; He talked about Americans made immigration its own problem; sure, US did have mistaken by being convenient for the illegal immigrants to stay and by having smugglers snuck those people into the US. But after 20 years of signing NAFTA how come Mexican government haven’t done anything about it? Instead, the alternative solution they came up with is letting their citizens cross the US border; it’s faster than solving the actual problem, right? Their citizens are not prisoners to be isolated in their land and it’s Mexico, why would they implement US law? Their defense is predictable;
Mexico only gets money in their country because of remittance and tourism without these two no money will come in, of course they will let their citizens cross the border to gain more remittance. The solution this film is trying to say is Americans should invest to Mexico, so people won’t have to cross the border. The truth is Mexico is not the only one who’s guilty about illegal immigration in the US; we Americans also made a mistake. First, the way the Mexicans cross the border is through smugglers; now the question is how can a smuggler pass through the border patrol with those people?
Our law enforcers should take a look on that issue carefully. Second, regarding the US spending money to deport illegal immigrants and building fences, I know our government is just protecting our land to those Mexicans who wants to cross the border illegally, but I have to agree with the Mexicans this time. They could definitely use the money to help their small businesses keep up and fortunately survive the poverty; but how can US invest to them if we know their country is corrupt.
It’s hard to gain someone else’s trust especially when you ruined your own people’s trust. Now, the plight of the Mexicans and the negligence of their local government and the improper implementation of the American legislation in our own border are clear to me. At this point, I reviewed all possible solutions suggested by the two writers’. Kavanaugh’s amnesty is based on humanity and legal status is based on the economical side as we Americans need cheap labor for keep market prices affordable.
Granting amnesty and legal status will lead to overpopulation and will add burden to Americans. Reed’s suggests getting rid of illegal immigrants by deporting them and jailing employers who hires them and thus eliminating their source of income. Perhaps stop granting citizenship to those who are not fluent in English and stop providing conveniences to them might prevent them from coming in to the United States. Out of the two writers’ Reed’s suggestion stands out for me because this is the root of the illegal acts in the United States therefore it should also stop there.
The film suggests American should invest to Mexico, so they can build their own business instead of crossing the border, but investing is too much to worry especially if you don’t trust the people you are working with. I still couldn’t agree 100 percent to the solutions that my three sources say; there should be a better solution than these three. In my opinion President Obama’s solution is the best solution I’ve heard; it is to provide guest worker visa for 6 months to 2 years to those undocumented immigrants who has no criminal records and eventually lead to permanent residency.
Implementing this plan will open up many questions such as: Can guest workers bring their family to US? Should they pay social security taxes? Will they be legible for workers compensation if they get hurt in the job? All these will eventually come up; I don’t know that details of Obama’s immigration reform but I’ll answer this question in fairness. First, can the guest worker bring their family to US? Yes, they can bring their family as a visitor until the person settle his or her permanent residency. Second, should they pay social security taxes?
The work visa is going to expire in two years, if the person has been approved to be a permanent resident of the United States she or he could then pay social security taxes the moment he start working as a resident. If he is not legible to reside in the United State he or she could leave after the expiration of his or her guest worker visa. Third, Will they be legible for workers compensation? Yes, they are workers just like American residents. There might be some problem along with this process but I believe this is the best approach.
This idea will not just help our own country; we are also helping Mexico and other Latin American countries to build their nation, so those poor Mexicans wouldn’t have to cross the border again to find work. In my journey in this explanatory essay I have learned many things about US immigration and the poor Mexican people who are in need. I realized that in this kind of events it couldn’t be just one nations fault but two countries negligence come together and caused problems to its people.
We should be cooperative not only to our nation, but also to our neighbor outside the border; just like what former President Kennedy said “ask not what your country can do for you: Ask what you can do for your country. ” If that means we need to sacrifice first for us to gain the wealth so be it, but first people should understand it’s not easy what always comes first. I hope President Obama’s solution will succeed and eventually eliminate what causes harm to both nations’ citizens.