Passion vs. Logic: Immigration Reform

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Passion vs. Logic: Immigration Reform

One of the most polarizing issues in our country today is the debate on immigration reform. The passion is stirred in us and makes us push away our logical thoughts and this is what made me ask the question: What effect is immigration reform having on our core values as human beings that we cannot come up with a suitable solution? Political posturing, fear mongering, and humanity appeals, are just but a few examples of what legislators, columnists, and political analysts are using to persuade us to view this issue as they see it. To look at this phenomenon, I read two blog articles, Byron Williams’s “Immigration Frenzy Points Out Need For Policy Debate” and Victor Davis Hanson’s “The Global Immigration Problem”. In his article, Williams examines the reactionary and political aspects of the issue, blurring the line for a clear and civilized policy debate about immigration reform. Williams points out how politicians use 9/11 as a convenient tool to bolster their argument for better border security. He also very effectively tears apart that argument, because as he points out, the hijackers entered the country legally. The author argues that politicians and ethnocentrisms fan the flames of fear into the African American community by virtue of the potential job losses to the Hispanic community; this is done in order to receive their support in pushing forth an isolationist immigration agenda. However, he does state that part of policy debate should be on how African Americans can compete with immigrants’ for certain low level employment. He also argues that there are legitimate concerns with the issue, but it does more harm than good to pit two or more minority groups against each other. Williams argues that a debate on the policy of immigration would not be complete without holding the businesses that continue to hire undocumented immigrants accountable. Finally, Williams concludes that the only way to have a logical policy debate is to exclude the stereotyping of immigrants as well as the pitting of minority groups against each other and fear mongering. In his blog article “The Global Immigration Problem”, conservative columnist Hanson examines the potential reasons why immigration is a global problem. Hanson believes the standard of living, free market growth and other economic pluses that are part of the norm in stable democracies, lends to the migration from poorer countries by any means necessary. He argues that the immigrants native countries do not care about them until the immigrants start sending money to relatives in their native country therefore improving the economic outlook by bringing in needed monies. He believes that American employers have an agenda to keep the current immigration issue as status quo since they are able to pay a lower wage to immigrants than to American citizens. These employers rationalize their point of view by arguing that the immigrants are making more than they “ever earned back home”. The author believes that immigrants are a drain to the host country because if the immigrant does not assimilate by learning the language, or becoming legal, they end up either in “welfare or jail” in which the host country has to foot the bill. Hanson concludes that in order to fix the global immigration problem is for the host country to pay more to native lowest wage earners since in the long run it will be a cheaper solution.

Although Byron Williams and Victor Davis Hanson identify the key problems in creating immigration reform legislation, Williams sees the potential for a fair and equitable solution and Hanson’s solution takes more of an isolationist approach. After reading the two articles, it made me think how closed minded we can become, that we cannot see the effect it is having on our values as human beings.

Both authors raise good questions about the immigration problems facing us and the steps required to be undertaken to fix some, if not all,...