Protecting the Rights of Minorities
When a person fights for something they really desire to get, one knows there is going to be some tough effort on it. So happens with Mexican immigrants, who try crossing to the United States. Immigrants leave their families, friends, culture, and other valuable possessions as they cross the borders to America, hoping to have a more prosperous life with no problems, but other people take advantage of them and violate their rights. Since the beginning of time, when someone tries to help others, there is someone who wants to harm them as well. In the case of immigrants, Bush went ahead and signed a bill to build new fences along the United States-Mexico border. The construction of these fences will not only cause a decrease in “America’s growing Latino population, but also a straining in US-Mexican relations.” This bill will also cause a decrease in American soldiers due to the fact that about 12 million are illegal. The building of this border fence not only affects immigrants, it has secondary effects. In fact, many consider this border fence a foolish thing. It is a large “physical barrier of barricades and fencing that needs maintenance thus costing taxpayers money.” Above that, to build the fence, some environmental laws had to be waived. In recent years, “bodies of nearly 2,000 illegal immigrants” have been found along the U.S.-Mexico border. With no end to this situation, the number can increase and affect America in a bad way. Just as Enrique Morones said, from Holtville, “These people- immigrants - came here looking for opportunity. Not one of them expected to die”. There is also evidence, plenty of it, that migrants have been “often denied access to health and education; subjected to physical, psychological, and sexual abuse; prevented from reuniting with their families, and detained and deported in bad conditions”. As far as water stations are concerned, the majority of them were emptied out and slashed by a knife. Even though they benefit immigrants to survive and cross the borders, these water stations also help immigrants who return to Mexico, and therefore not considered a felony. Now, what is the government doing to protect the rights of immigrants nowadays? First of all, a work program has been proposed for undocumented men and women. As a result, employers will be able to find immigrant workers faster and easier. Immigrants will be granted a renewable legal status that will last 3 years along with a “temporary worker card that will allow them to travel back and forth between their home and the United States” with no problem (Bush, 2006). Besides economic benefits to America, it will also bring more security. Law enforcement will have less problems with immigrants and focus on the real threats to the United States. A study done by the Immigration Policy Center in the state of Washington D.C. “showed that immigrant men between the ages of 18 to 39 had an incarceration rate five times lower than people born in the United States.” To those who are “decent, hard working” immigrants, they will be protected under the labor laws which provide the right to change jobs, earn fair wages, and the American required working conditions. For those who do not comply with the required rules or break the law, they will be asked to leave to their homeland. Immigrant or not, one has human rights that one can count on, and the government has the duty to protect and enforce them. Just like I mentioned before, immigrants leave a lot of their valuable possessions behind, and assuming risks, they cross to the United States without knowing that they will encounter more problems with anti-immigrants. To avoid this situation, government should protect the rights of everyone to “work, working conditions, social security, adequate standard of living, and education.” Pertaining to treatment, “non-citizens must receive the same treatment as a citizen in the right to life and security, equally seen in court, freedom of thought, opinion, conscience and religion, the right to retain language, culture and tradition, and the right to transfer money abroad.” Immigrants should also put some effort and not leave the whole load on the government. For example, one can make the effort and learn English as soon as he/she arrives in the United States. It is true that people living in the United States, a nation of immigrants, “do not share the characteristics of race, religion, ethnicity, or native language”, but by “agreeing to learn and use a single, universally spoken language,” people living in the U.S. have been able to become more unified “from an incredibly diverse population” (Hayakawa, 2008). Besides uniting different kind of people, learning English is one of the main requirements to succeed in the United States. It gives immigrants the opportunity to receive an excellent education, and more job opportunities open for them. In order for this to workout, immigrant students who don’t speak English should be moved to English-speaking classes as soon as possible to increase their chances in succeeding. Now that it’s been discussed how others harm immigrants, and what should be done to protect them, what are the benefits of allowing immigrants to cross the borders to the U.S. and protect their rights? To start off, immigrants are known to work long hours in harsh conditions for low wages, and they still manage to make up most of America’s economy. About 18 million immigrants – men, women, and children – have come into the U.S. and has helped it maintain the largest economy in the world. Besides allowing America to have a growing population, immigrant workers take the jobs that Americans are not willing to do because of the low wages, therefore keeping “prices, supplies, and services available and cheap.” A study done also showed that immigrants help native citizens. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, “immigrants who arrived in the State between 1990 and 2004 increased wages of native workers by an average of 4%.” In order to maintain their economy stable, America must protect these immigrants, who sacrifice a lot to come into the U.S. If something is not done to protect these immigrants, they are going to be continued to be deported, abused, and killed, which threatens the U.S. economy. At the end, just like John F. Kennedy said, “Every ethnic minority, in seeking its own freedom, helped strengthen the fabric of liberty in American life. Similarly, every aspect of the American economy has profited from the contributions of immigrants.” It has been shown why immigrants rights should be protected. However, not everyone agrees with this position. Some argue that illegal immigration threatens America overpopulation. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, “Illegal immigration … contributes to the dramatic population growth overwhelming communities across America –crowding school classrooms, consuming already limited affordable housing, and increasing the strain on precious natural resources like water, energy, and forestland” (Reform, 2006). This side of the argument my sound convincing, but more evidence supports that these claims are exaggerated and that illegal immigration does not threaten America overpopulation. A recent study demonstrated how the “numbers of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. is only about 105,000-300,000 per year” and not “to the millions claimed by anti-immigrant forces.” It has also been shown that “the population of undocumented entrants into the U.S. has remained constant as a share of the national population for over two decades, at no more than two percent” (Wise, 2006). Despite all the sacrifices immigrants go through to reach the U.S. border and cross it, they still stumble upon problems on the other side of the border. We have analyzed how America can protect immigrants rights and the benefits they-immigrants- provide to the U.S. Now that we’ve seen why it is important to protect immigrants rights, we have more reliable reasons to protect them. After all, according and agreeing with John F. Kennedy, “The contribution of immigrants can be seen in every aspect of our national life. We see it in religion, in politics, in business, in the arts, in education, even in athletics and in entertainment. There is no part of our nation that has not been touched by our immigrant background.”
Einhorn, Robin L., & Bruce J. Schulman. “United States, History of the.” World Book Advanced. 2011. Web. 31 March 2011.
Hayakawa, Samuel Ichiye.”Bilingualism in America: English Should Be the Official Language”. The Language of Composition. Eds. Renee H. Shea. Boston: Bedfort/St. Martin’s, 2008. Print.
McCombs, Brady. Border Boletin: Humanitarians headed to D.C. to lobby for migrant safety. Arizona: Arizona Daily Star, 2010. Print.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “Secretary Napolitano Announces Record-Breaking Immigration Enforcement Statistics Achieved Under the Obama Administration”. Washington, D.C. October 2010. Print.
Bush, George Washington. Illegal Immigration. Washington, DC: Bonnie Szumski, 2004. Print.
Cole, David. The Idea of Humanity: Human Rights and Immigrants’ Rights. 37 Colum. Human Rights L. Rev. 627-629 (2006). Print. http://www.uslaw.com/bulletin/the-united-states-benefits-from-immigration.php?p=24 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/bush-signs-bill-to-build-border-fence-to-stop-mexicans-421805.html http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/0809borderangels Outline
Protecting the Rights of Minorities in America
Thesis: Immigrants leave their families, friends, culture and other valuable possessions as they cross the borders to America, hoping to have a more prosperous life with no problems, but other people take advantage of immigrants and violate their rights.
I. Background Information A. Immigrants sacrifice themselves to come to America, assuming risks B. Immigrants have helped America become what it is today C. Immigrants work hard, under unpleasant conditions, but for low wages
II. While some try to protect immigrants rights, others try to take advantage of them in different ways. A. President Bush builds fences along the border B. U.S enforces policies regarding immigration C. Bodies of immigrants found along the border 1. Since 2001, nearly 2,000 bodies of immigrants have been found along the borders 2. If someone does not put a stop to this, these years can be worse
III. Regarding the differences among the people, the government should provide protection and help to everyone. A. Work program created to help immigrants work legally and receive a fair wage 1. This program will help the U.S. have a better account with immigrants 2. Fewer problems with undocumented workers living in the U.S. 3. The border security will work more effectively B. As long as one is human, every human counts on their human rights, which must be protected by the government 1. Immigrants face significant risks of human rights abuses even though they went through a lot to cross the borders. 2. Immigrant or not, one has human rights to protect themselves C. In order for immigrants to succeed, he or she must learn the nation’s most spoken language 1. Students who don’t speak English should be moved to English-speaking classes as soon as possible to increase their chances in succeeding 2. If everyone agrees in one language and learn it, they will become more united
IV. Immigrants benefit America A. Immigrants work in harsh conditions, and long hours for minimum wages 1. Immigrants manage to make up most of America’s economy 2. America must protect immigrants in order to maintain their economy stable 3. About 18 million immigrants- men, women, and children- have come into the U.S. and has helped it have the largest economy in the world B. If government does not provide protection for immigrants, they are going to be deported, killed, and abused, lowering the U.S. economy
V. The other side of the argument A. Illegal immigration threatens America overpopulation 1. The population of immigrants in the U.S has remained constant at no more than 300,000 annually and not “millions claimed by anti-immigrant forces.” 2. The population immigrants has remained constant for the past two decades
Cited: Einhorn, Robin L., & Bruce J. Schulman. “United States, History of the.” World Book Advanced. 2011. Web. 31 March 2011. Hayakawa, Samuel Ichiye.”Bilingualism in America: English Should Be the Official Language”. The Language of Composition. Eds. Renee H. Shea. Boston: Bedfort/St. Martin’s, 2008. Print. McCombs, Brady. Border Boletin: Humanitarians headed to D.C. to lobby for migrant safety. Arizona: Arizona Daily Star, 2010. Print. Bush, George Washington. Illegal Immigration. Washington, DC: Bonnie Szumski, 2004. Print. Cole, David