Illegal Immigration In The United States: A Controversial Debate
Illegal immigration is an on-going issue, which is of much importance in the United States today. It has been overlooked for many years, however it has reached a point where it can no longer be ignored. Most of the illegal immigrants, 54% to be exact, come through the Mexican border. (Hayes 5) Since the early 1980’s, the number of illegal Mexican immigrants has risen at an incredible rate, causing the United States government to take action to create an even-handed solution that would be in the interest of both the illegal Mexicans and the citizens of the United States. This, however, has proven to be very difficult since it is still an issue today. The argument is that the illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from American workers, hurting the economy, destroying American culture and the way of life, and are responsible for a big part of crimes and drug trafficking. On the other side of the spectrum, many people believe that the illegal immigrants are noble people who cross the border for a chance at a better life, that they do not harm the countries economy, and that they do not deface America’s culture. The different opinions about illegal immigration is the source of all of the chaos, which is yet to be resolved. The real issue at hand is to focus on creating a reasonable and justified solution to this controversial and pressing debate that has divided the nation into pro-immigration and anti-immigration beliefs.
I have used many credible sources that have assisted me in writing this research paper. “Source Regions and Composition of Illegal Mexican Immigration to California”, is an international migration review written by Tim Dagodag. The article explains in full detail the regional problems and their relationship to illegal immigration from the Mexican border, it analyzes the regions from where the illegal immigrants came from and it scrutinizes the socio-economic aspect of the immigrants. It is a very strong and reliable source that has helped me acquire statistics about immigration as well as the anti-immigration point of view. Operation Gatekeeper, a book written by Joseph Nevins, has also aided me in anti-immigration points of view, as well as important information on the creation of the U.S.-Mexico border. “Securing Borders and Saving Lives” along with Immigration: A Civil Rights Issue for the Americas, were very essential sources for this research paper, providing me with the history, reforms, and laws that are associated with illegal aliens. Finally, the essay, “Seeing Mexican Immigration Clearly” by Douglas Massey, is a very good source that talks about pro-immigration points of view and analyzes them thoroughly.
Having lived in both Mexico and America, I am very well aware of both sides of the arguments, and have witnessed the frustration and controversy that goes along with the issue as a whole. It has been seen throughout history that neighboring countries always have immigration; it is a simple fact of life. It is because of this reason that the Mexican-American border will always flow with immigration. In the last couple of decades, the United States government has put a lot of effort into balancing the two sides and trying to solve the problems. These efforts have resulted in a number of laws, including Proposition 187, the 1996 Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act, and most recently the Secure Fence Act. Proposition 187 was passed in 1994 in the state of California, denying illegal immigrants the rights to social services such as health care and education. The reason it was voted into legislation was because many people thought it was unfair for illegal immigrants to receive the same benefits as U.S citizens. It only created more problems however, both for the government and the Mexican Immigrants. It did not solve the issue of immigration, and only brought pain and desperation to Mexican immigrants. The...
Cited: Dagodag, Tim W. “Souce Regions and Composition of Illegal Mexican Immigration to California.” International Migration Review Vol. 9, No.4. JSTOR. Providence College Library, Providence RI. 2 October 2007 .
Frost, Natasha A. “Securing Borders And Saving Lives.” Editorial Inroduction Vol. 6
Number 2. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO host. Providence College Library, Providence, RI. 2 October 2007 .
Hayes, Helene. U.S. Immigration Policy and the Undocumented. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publshing Group Inc., 2001.
Massey, Douglas S. “Seeing Mexican Immigration Clearly.” Cato Unbound. 20 Aug. 2006. 6 Oct. 2007 .
Nevins, Joseph. Operation Gatekeeper. New York, NY: Routledge, 2002.
Palerm, Juan V. Immigration: A Civil Rights Issue For The Americas. Ed. Susanne Jonas and Suzie Dod Thomas. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources Inc., 1999.
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