Term Paper: Immigration

Pages: 6 (2059 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  Topic: Government  ·  Buy This Paper

immigration is one of the most important elements confronting the United States in terms of public policies taking into account that this policy has received wide attention in particular in the 2008 election due to the increase in the number of illegal immigrants. The focus has been on the ideas promoted in particular by the Republicans and the Democrats which argue differently on the matter. Still, it is important to consider these perspectives because they are the ones which will determine the direction of the new policies concerning immigration.

The major problem which needs to be addressed in terms of the policy of immigration is the actual regime of the immigrants and their integration in the society. From this general perspective, there are several other issues that have to be discussed. In this sense, the illegal immigration, the regime of the working immigrants, as well as their fair treatment on the U.S. territory. In any case however, these aspects must be discussed because "the very nature of the principles upon which the United States is established encourages immigration and promotes the transformation of those immi-grants into Americans -- welcoming newcomers while insisting that they learn and embrace America's civic culture and political institutions, thereby form-ing one nation from many peoples. The result has been a strengthening of our social capital, a deepen-ing of our national patriotism, and a continuing expansion of our general economy. America has been good for immigrants, and immigrants have been good for America" (Meese and Spalding, 2004).

The problems immigration poses for the American society has different parts. Thus, on the first case, there is the issue of the illegal immigration. In this sense, despite the fact that following the 9/11 attacks immigration had reached a low, the next years saw again a surge in the numbers of the immigrants. More precisely, the main reason for such an evolution "is a Mexican economy unable to provide jobs with a living wage to a growing population. But those who live and work along the border say there is another, more immediate cue for the rush" (Barlett and Steel, 2004). The increase in the safety measures tried to redo the security equilibrium; however, the number of illegal immigrants is so large that the border patrol cannot deal with them individually, nor in a collective manner. It was considered that "in 2007 the illegal alien population is above 13 million persons. Government and academic estimates indicate that as of 2006 there were 11 to 12 million illegal aliens living in the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies estimated the illegal alien population at 10 million as of November 2004" (FAIR, 2007). Therefore, given the steady and continuous rise in the number of illegal immigrants, it can be said that indeed they do represent a problem.

At the same time though, even the work they are engaged in represents an issue that has been up for debate in recent years. In this sense, there are arguments which suggest that the increase in the number of immigrants, especially those who do not pay taxes does not benefit the national workforce. However, the debate can find its answer in the idea that "the biggest problem with job growth right now isn't too few new jobs. it's too few skilled workers" (Isidore, 2007). Therefore, the discussion relies more on the way in which American workers are prepared, rather than the actual quality of the immigrants.

The government has made several attempts in order to address the issue largely due to the fact that there is of constant worry for the population in particular. Therefore, one of the most recent and important laws in this regard was the 1996 immigration law which argued for increased measures against immigrants. Still, this law had its limitations as "Congress failed to draw a distinction between immigrants who committed murder, rape and other serious crimes worthy of deportation and those who committed a minor theft or were found in possession of a small quantity of drugs. Hundreds of longtime legal residents with minor offenses have been abruptly wrenched from their families and sent back to their birth countries." (the New York Times, 1999) Therefore, it can be said that there was a need for the improvement of the law taking into account the fact that the 1996 law allowed for abuses to take place such as the split of the families and the deportation of people without a proper cause.

Concerning the issue of immigration and its possible resolution there are several ideas to be taken into account. The overall assessment of a possible solution to the problem entangles the idea of the strengthening of the border patrol, therefore fighting against illegal immigrants. This has been agreed upon by both Republicans and Democrats. At the same time though, every major stake holder is well aware of the fact that while immigrants do represent a stress for the public system, they also represent a source of labor force which is needed in the United States. Therefore a possible compromise can be reached at this point.

The Republican point-of-view is represented best by John McCain, a former Vietnam War prisoner with a great sense for duty and helping the others. This aspect of his personality is seen in the way in which he approaches the issue of immigrants. More precisely, he argued for a special treatment of guest workers, similar to the proposition made by President Bush who considered that it is important to take measures to such an extent as to encourage immigrants, yet to put little pressure on the labor market in the United States. Moreover, the point-of-view of the Republicans takes into account the fact that "reforms our immigration laws so they reflect our values and benefit our economy. I propose a new temporary-worker program to match willing foreign workers with willing employers when no Americans can be found to fill the job. This reform will be good for our economy, because employers will find needed workers in an honest and orderly system. A temporary-worker program will help protect our homeland, allowing border patrol and law enforcement to focus on true threats to our national security" (Frum, 2003).

The Democratic point-of-view takes into account different aspects such as the safety of the borders. In this sense, Hilary Clinton argues that a proper immigration policy should take into account safety measures first. Thus "much more border patrolling and much more technology on both of our borders, and in certain areas, even a physical barrier (is needed), because I think we've got to secure our borders. That has to be part of comprehensive immigration reform. I have championed comprehensive immigration reform, and it includes starting with securing our borders in order to give people the support they need to come over and support us when it comes to having a pathway to legalization" (on the issues, n.d.). At the same time though she points out the fact that the new policy for immigration should take into account better social services as well as an improvement of the legal status of immigrants, thus making reference to the idea of the 1996 law which allowed abuses to take place.

The two different views are limited to the nature of the political spheres they represent. In this sense, Hilary Clinton addresses the electorate which is in favor of the increase in security measures. According to recent polls, this number is rather important. The public opinion expressed its point-of-view in this sense. Thus, the Associated Press Poll from 2008 underlined the fact that there are mixed feelings concerning the rise of a fence at the border with Mexico. From this point-of-view both McCain and Clinton can win the electorate. However, the majority of the electorate is not confident in the security measures taken in case of the fence to be built towards Mexico. Therefore, from this point-of-view, it would be fair to conclude that the looser at this point would be the supported of the measures demanding a fence.

Despite the possible outcomes and the current propositions of the presidential candidates, it is rather hard to determine the eventual result of the policy. The idea of increasing the security measures had been subject to the Senate, yet little has been achieved in this sense. Thus, "The effort to enact comprehensive immigration and border security measures in one massive and complicated bill collapsed when the Senate voted against cloture and refused to proceed to a vote, and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) withdrew the legislation from consideration. Several failed amendments showed that there were too many problems concerning many aspects of this "grand bargain" for it to garner sufficient overall support" (Spalding and Carafano, 2007). Therefore it can be said that in the end the vote on the immigration policy is totally dependent on the way in which the political dice is cast. However, this issue remains undetermined. There is no proper acknowledgment of a political equilibrium as "House Republican leaders who tried… [END OF PREVIEW]

Immigration Border/Entry Policies Impacting Research Paper


Immigration Reform Term Paper


Immigration in America: 19th Century to Present Essay


United States Should Be Against Immigration Research Paper


Immigration in the United States Term Paper


View 1,000+ other related papers  >>

Cite This Term Paper:

APA Format

Immigration.  (2008, May 13).  Retrieved October 15, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/immigration-one-most-important/99142

MLA Format

"Immigration."  13 May 2008.  Web.  15 October 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/immigration-one-most-important/99142>.

Chicago Format

"Immigration."  Essaytown.com.  May 13, 2008.  Accessed October 15, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/immigration-one-most-important/99142.