Immigration is the act of people moving from their country to live in other foreign countries; during immigration, the people intend to live there permanently. Such people are known as immigrants until their citizenship is confirmed. There are various reasons that make people emigrate from one country to another. Such as manmade calamities like civil war causes people to migrate from their country to another. Other calamities that cause immigration include earthquake, storm and flooding among many. Immigration can be caused by the level of poverty that hit a country making people to migrate in search of better place (Isbister, 1996). This mostly occurs where people migrate from poorer country to much richer country in such of employment. Nevertheless, people from developed country may decide to migrate to a poorer country in search of good environment as they carry on with their business. Immigration can also be brought about by marriage where a person marries somebody from a foreign country therefore making him or her moving in as an immigrant.
To ensure that immigrations are regulated, laws are formed. Otherwise, these laws depend mostly with the country one is immigrating to. The laws vary from country to country depending to their foreign policies. Therefore, it is advisable for anyone willing to immigrate to be aware of the immigration laws of that country. These laws can be gotten in the countries embassies or in their website if they have been posted. In some instances, the immigrant is tested on the knowledge of the language that is used in that country through an exam (Smith, & Edmonston, 1998). Therefore, it is very vital to comply with these rules or one is liable of meeting the consequences of illegal immigration that ranges from deportation to other severe penalties. In this research paper, we will look at the immigration debate that has ranges for a number of years in United State of America that host the largest immigration.
Immigration debate in US
In the ranging immigration debate in United State of America, that has taken several years, there has been a thing that has been so antagonistic in the process. Free marketers have been squaring cultural conservative and the political issue. On the other hand, the civil right personnel have been opposing the whole move to ensure that environment and job in America has been protected. In 1994, the debated over the immigration issue focused on the issue of illegal aliens especially who get in the country through the Mexican border (Isbister, 1996). These illegal alien has turned to be so many thus, INS has raised this concern. The other group that has been brought by the issue of the immigration is the one that overstay with their invalid visas. Therefore, the debate provoked documented and undocumented immigrants. These debate targeted backlashes like that of the California preposition 187. This preposition barred undocumented immigrants from participating in the basic social services.
All the same, immigration, in US and all over the world has been a cause of disagreement. In US, those who support the present level of immigration are corporate who get benefit from the cheap foreign labor, political fraternity who lobby for increased political base, religious as well as humanitarians, civil libertarians and human right activist who seek for human rights ethnical concern (Smith, & Edmonston, 1998).
Those who gave been in the opposition side in the debate include, native people. They see immigrants who do not come from Europe to a threat to American culture, environmentalist who argue that this will increase the population and the labor advocates who says that the immigration is making the native are deprive off the jobs in their countries as they are taken by other people as well depressing wages. Free marketers in the side of politics they refuse the whole idea in the ranging debate, as they believe that immigration makes cultural conservativeness. However, civil rights as well as ethnic advocacy people have been opposing environmentalists and job protectionist.
To ensure that a balance is stroked, policy had to be put in place. The policies that are currently in place emanates from Immigration Act of 1924. The policy was meant to reduce the number of the immigrant in the country. The policy ensured that the visas were allocated based on the country that people come from. This developed quota system regarding the number of people in America. Therefore, European countries were favored as they had more population in US as Asian countries were not due to their low population level. Otherwise, this policy of quota system was later abolished in 1960. This was done on equity grounds. The idea of immigration focused mostly in family reunion. This made immigration to shift making more Latin American, Caribbean and Asian immigrants to come to the country.
Because of this, refugee became more immigrant in the US as a throng of them arrived from countries such as Cuba in the later 1960 and 1980. At around 1970, Southeast Asia also brought more of them in the country after the government of their country that was supported by US collapsed according to Healey, 1997. The country offered an automatic immigration acceptance to refugees who run from communist countries. However, the immigration from Vietnam and Cuba rises exponentially bring the whole idea to a stand still.
To ensure that economic incentives were reduced to curb illegal immigration according to Greenblatt (2008), Congress passed Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) in 1986 to ensure that employers who hire undocumented employers are punished. To ensure that this was adhered to, they offered amnesty to illegal immigrants who have been living in the country for a long time. otherwise, this was met with a lot of opposition from the immigrant right group who brought an out cry to the continuing debate about the discrimination that the was imposed to undocumented immigrants. On the contrary, the anti-immigrant group was on the debate. At this time, they were opposed to the idea of offering employers mandate to enforce the laws as they argued that they will prejudice the whole process by ensuring that the new arrivals are given amnesty by forging their documents.
In following the policies that were placed for regulation of immigrants, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in 1996 authorized more than a million immigrants including the one who received amnesty. This was 30% increase from the previous year where in 1995 only 716,000 immigrants were initialized. Recently, United State of America has recorded the highest legal immigration from Asia according to Greenblatt, (2008), that counts for 37 %, Central America that include Mexico and Caribbean counts for 32% while the Europe immigrants are 18%. The numbers of the people who apply for political asylum in the US are approximately 150,000 annually. This has brought a big political asylum application backlog that get o almost half a million per year.
Due to this high volume of application of immigration in the country, there has been a problem of illegal immigration in the country as regulations become stricter. Therefore, in 1994 the debate of immigration has been focusing the type of immigrants who INS call illegal according to Greenblatt (2008). The most focus was on the border of Mexico where many people got into the country through. Others, who came from especially the same part, overstayed their visas yet they are in the category of the undocumented. Nevertheless, the debate was influenced by the politics very much and INS decided to launch high profile campaign against that. These campaigns were Operation Blockade in El Paso and Operation Gatekeeper in San Diego. This ensured that most of the points that illegal immigrants got in the country through were blocked. However, this made the illegal immigration to shift their entry point to mountainous and desert places. Unfortunately, they fall prey to robbers, rapist and extreme weather conditions.
The regulation of the illegal immigration and the number of the immigrants who entered in the country were strictly checked. Documented and undocumented immigrants are a target of such policies as that of California Preposition 187 backlashes. This regulation that block undocumented immigrants from participating from social services were barred by courts. Otherwise, some of the legislation in the federal government are reducing the undocumented immigration participation or enjoying certain benefits. The debate to ensure that immigration has been regulated continues through raising the motion that in future people who are born in us should not be given an automatic citizenship regardless of their parent status.
Though the immigration debate should address various economic, ethical and humanitarian issues, they have been met with political centered debate. This has brought ideas that are differing towards the idea of the immigrant's right to be with their families, seek better living standard as well as security from their political instability in their original country. There has been collision over the rights of the native to have the capability of who should be legalized to live, work and have certain benefits from the public services of their country (Gonzalez, 2000).
The differences that have been emerging in the country are mostly due to the insecurity that the American community has been faced with. This is due to the high demand that the foreign immigrants has brought in the economic sector. Due to immigration, there has been highly interconnected global economy that has been brought due to cheap labor that has been brought in the country. This immigration has also caused increase in crime rate and drug trafficking across the border.
Problems with the current U.S. policies
The main problems with the policies that U.S uses currently to regulate the immigration practices make it strict border control. This strictness in the border has been proved futile making them to increase human rights abuse and victimization of the border immigrants who uses other risky places to cross the border.
Another problem that has been brought by immigration that has been contributed by the policies used in the country is decrease of job availability in US. This is because of the pressure created in the labor market as more labor force is gotten. This is more to certain economic places than others are. Many refugees who become immigrants as results of political upheavals in their country mostly find themselves rejected by the society in the country.
However, according to the economist, they have realized that immigration has increased the U.S net economy. This because, immigrants will be able to take the jobs most of the US people wont take. They also help the country to be in the competitive edge globally economic wise. Immigration also acts as stimulant to creation of job to the most oppressed people in the neighborhoods. Otherwise, though this brings a benefit in the net economy, it is a disadvantage to the overall population of the native US people as they are deprived off their vacancies (Massey, et al. 2003). The reason for this is that the corporation ranging from small enterprise to bigger corporation will rather employ foreigners who will worker and for lesser pay than the Americans can. Therefore, this ahs was a center of the immigration problem in US.
Towards new immigration policies
To ensure that there has been eased debate about the people to be offered legal immigrant permits, new policies are required too address a distinct definition of the family unification policy that has been resulting to stream of immigration. There should also be restriction to spouses and children as well as reduction of immigration of skilled labor to the country. This will ensure that they balance the issue of unemployment of the Native American due to increased immigration. When a humanitarian admission is to be considered, national preferences should be eliminated and immigration be permitted to these people who shows high level of individual persecution. According to Waters & Reed (2007), labor advocates and policy makers should emphasize on the national worker identification card that will ensure that it will deflate the political pressure has been contentious especially in the Mexican border.
The implication that has been raised in the immigration debate is troubling. The rights to the immigrants have been put especially to the lime light as they have been wrangles surrounding the whole process. High living standards, employment opportunities with good pay have been luring immigration practices. Nevertheless, the American citizen has been antagonistic in the whole idea of ensuring rights of immigrants are put in place as they see it as prejudicing their rights. This has made a leeway for the politician to attract votes in promising to curb illegal immigration especially in the Mexican border where in real sense, only imposition of expensive measures can be put in place whereas illegal immigrations are shifted to other places. Therefore, this makes the immigration debate to be a delicate and crucial issue to be handled with care to ensure that either way; American as well as immigrants human rights are not taken for granted.