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It is historically acknowledged that the authentic Native-Americans are the Indians and there is documented theory that their origination possibly evolved from Asia. From the first settlers, throughout the establishment of the 13 colonies and the growth of the United States, state-by-state, America has truly become the “Melting Pot”, a nation of immigrants. The United States Census in 2007 allocates that more than 38 million of the nation’s residents were foreign-born; 12% of the population of 302 million.
For many foreigners, immigration to the United States during late 19th century and early 20th century would be a new beginning to a prosperous life inciting the last great wave of immigration to America. Ellis Island, located in the New York Harbor, operated as a federal immigration station from 1892 to 1954 and processed more than 12 million immigrant steamship passengers. Numerous immigration acts and laws were passed to limit the influx. There was great fear that the European arrivals were not making a serious effort to become citizens, but merely to plunder and exploit America, not adopting it as their homeland.
Regardless, late on into the 20th century, additional laws were adapted repealing the older immigration laws and acts making it possible for many foreigners to immigrate to the United States creating other major concerns. A particular issue for such concern is the spread of dual nationality, Nancy Foner, Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, is a leading scholar of U. S. immigration. She is the author or editor of over a dozen books on the subject of immigration.
Professor Foner questions dual citizenship in an academic journal article she wrote, The American Melting Pot is a Rich Stew. It was not a possibility for European immigrants 100 years ago. However, she acknowledges it being problematic today as “a growing number of countries allow their nationals to maintain citizenship in the home country even after becoming U. S. citizens, weakening the meaning of American citizenship and the integrity of American Patriotism (9).
She further makes reference to commentators such as journalist, Georgie Ann Geyer, claiming “dual citizenship is like bigamy” arguing that “it blurs loyalties, undermines commitment to the United States and retards the Americanization process” (qtd. in Geyer). Even, in lieu of this despairing and compelling factor, Professor Foner insists “immigrants become attached to their new country despite fears to the contrary” including those fears following the aftermath of September 11 and the continuing threats to national security.
The article continues to provide statistics to support today’s legal immigrants signing on to a closer relationship with the United States than was the case a decade or two ago summarizing that altogether, a little more than half of the legal immigrants now living in the United States are naturalized citizens” (8). What about the other half? The referenced reported figures are for legal immigrants because the undocumented (illegal) immigrants are not eligible for citizenship.
As United States citizens, we need to focus on the negative impact of illegal immigration regarding national security, patriotism, social economics, government spending, and crime. It is precisely the illegal immigration issues that hurt America. Our government needs to be held to higher standard and practice ‘rule of law’. New arrivals must follow established policies, not ‘sneak in’ to avoid them (qtd. in Seeley).
September 11 illuminates the necessity for controlling illegal immigration to enhance national security, to maintain cohesion and a core of common value in American society preserving our common culture and American patriotism. A video interview of individuals on the streets of New York City regarding The U. S. Immigration Problem revealed the overall opinion that this country was built on immigration diversity and it has now become a major concern for national security, crime and government spending (The Resident).
The intensity of this video is with the negativity towards the issues and the government’s lack in taking much needed control of the border and regulating the vast waste of spending on illegal immigrants. In a very recent article, The Dallas Morning News covered a question and answer interview with Kris Kobar, the Secretary of State in Kansas, who is a leader in the effort to control immigration at the state and local levels nationwide.
When asked to explain attrition (the reduction of numbers) hrough enforcement, Kobar states: Attrition through enforcement is simply the self-evident principal that if you ratchet up the level of enforcement and make it more difficult to break the law, fewer people will continue to break the law. In the context of immigration, attrition through enforcement means ratcheting the level of enforcement of our immigration laws. At the state level, that means bringing to bear the states’ resources to discourage illegal immigration and also making it more difficult to obtain unlawful employment.
When that happens, the calculation made by an illegal alien changes. He finds that it is harder to remain unlawfully present in that state and he makes the decision-the rational decision–to self-deport. Self-deportation benefits the taxpayer because the government does not have to spend money arresting the alien, detaining the alien and holding removal hearings. Kobar is also asked his opinion of whether legal immigration should be expanded or if he felt this country has a sufficient amount of foreigners.
He responds that: Legal immigration should always be calibrated so that it reflects the nation’s interest. The answer to the question depends on which category of legal immigration we are talking about. If there is a specific sector where there truly are not enough American workers, then legal immigration is justified and in the national interest. On the other hand, if there are thousands of Americans unemployed in a particular sector, then increasing legal immigration will make their plight even worse. Escobar). Unemployment in the United States is and has been on the steady decline for years. The country is constantly on the brink of recession. Should there be any doubt or controversy, just review the statistics on poverty, homelessness, welfare and the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The Obama administration has made no headway in reversing any of these problems. The Lonestar Conservative produces a video interview, Obama on Legal Immigration: Stay and Succeed.
President Obama contradicts himself when he blatantly states the importance of “enforcing the laws of immigration in the United States” but then advocates for changes in the law when he attempts to justify this stance on the Dream Act (Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act) allowing illegal immigrants to have an opportunity to enlist in the military or go to college and have a path to citizenship which they otherwise would not have without this legislation. He is adamant on the importance of educating illegal immigrants nd provide them with a higher education as if it is their given ‘right’ with no penalty for breaking the laws of this country.
President Obama claims, “We are a great nation of immigrants” but he certainly does not address or justify the crime, cartel wars, human trafficking, breach in national security, and how the American taxpayer is held responsible for the illegal immigrant education tab. He evokes much anger in the comments following this interview illustrating the U. S. citizens’ position on illegal immigration hurting America on just about every level. (The Lonestar Conservative).
Brad Knickerbocker, staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor, wrote an article covering the political debate on immigration quoting the presidential candidates including Texas Governor, Rick Perry. This article illustrates the plight of Texas with it being an approximately 1900 mile border state enduring all the consequences of illegal immigration. “It is true that Texas is one of the only states where the number of people working has increased during the recession. What has not been acknowledged is that immigrants have been the primary beneficiaries of this job growth, not native-born Americans. The Center of Immigration Studies reported as recently as the week prior to this article, “About 40 percent of growth went to newly arrived illegal immigrants and another 40 per cent to new legal immigrants. ” In addition, according to the same report, “The unemployment rate and the employment rate … of natives in Texas show a dramatic deterioration during the recession that is similar to the rest of the country. Among the native-born, Texas ranks 22nd in terms of unemployment and 29th in terms of its employment rate (qtd. in Knickerbocker).
Knickerbocker stated that “Perry and his supporters argue that the federal government – especially the Obama administration – is at fault for not taking a tougher stand on illegal immigration. ” He further describes there is another reason why immigration is a tough issue for the GOP; “In the 2008 presidential campaign, Hispanics voted 2-1 for the Obama-Biden ticket over McCain-Palin. Since then, immigration has become an even hotter issue – especially at the state level with Arizona and Georgia enacting tough enforcement laws now being challenged on constitutional grounds” Knickerbocker). With this constant disregard to enforce illegal immigration laws on a government level, how do states, especially ‘border’ states access the funding to control the border and the ‘mad dash’ to America? An informative documentary concludes over $113 Billion dollars a year is the cost of illegal immigration to the United States taxpayer. It is analytical of the overwhelming costs for education, medical, justice, welfare/TANF, and other public services. Illegal immigration is also detrimental in causing businesses to fail and the snowball effect to recession.
This documentary describes how the illegals are accessing the jobs and lowering the wages. There were 47 comments following this week-old documentary; the majority are negative and angry responses (Fair Federation). How can you be an American citizen and not be angry or expect the government to be made accountable for this expenditure? One such citizen is business owner and legal immigrant, Mario Garibaldi. He concurs, “Illegal immigration poses a conflict between tolerance and the law”. He claims, “The general public and politicians continue to be divided and concerned about the consequences of massive illegal settlements in this country.
Illegal immigration is not a victimless offense. It comes with negative consequences to society” (2). In this article, Garibaldi lists the ‘Pros and Cons of Illegal Immigration’ in accordance with various unnamed groups. It touches on just about every issue and there are 12 Pro (3) verses 21 Con (4). He also contributes 15 distressing issues from the employer’s point of view (4). “Some claim it is too costly to protect our borders. Yet, it is not hard to release $3 billion dollars for the ‘cash for clunkers’ program! What would $3 billion do towards better border security?
As you can see, it is all a matter of priorities. It is not fair to blame illegal immigrants alone. Employers have also created the right conditions and demands for undocumented illegal workers” (4). And, “Since border security and employment verification systems are substantially inadequate, illegal immigrants should not bear the brunt of blame for the current situation. If the door is left open, they come in” (2)! Once again, this is all conclusive of how well the government is NOT adhering to their responsibilities, but constantly ‘passing the buck’ and arguing on ‘how to skirt’ the issues.
Garibaldi sums it all up by asking, “Is illegal immigration wrong? Sure it is! That is why it is called illegal. It implies a violation of law. Is there a solution? Sure! The U. S. should improve influx controls, removal management and entry restrictions. We won’t stop illegal immigration as long as it is still relatively easy to enter the country without permission” (6). (Garibaldi 1-6). Fig. 1 Tracking the undocumented Public Agenda for Citizens is a website instrumental to the U. S. citizens on a multitude of national issues. It categorizes and summarizes informative national information in ‘Issue Guides’.
One such Issue Guide is Immigration: Consider the Choices and it documents research that is based on people’s views and values in accordance with history and statistics provided by The Pew Research Center (see fig. 1). Cutting back to preserve our security and culture is one perspective discussed and it focuses on illustrating the ineffectiveness of our immigration policies to keep criminals and terrorists out of the country: Millions of people have evaded our immigration laws and the government has no idea whether any of them pose a threat to us.
This perspective is explored further by claiming the recent influx of immigration has resulted with increasing pressure to accommodate immigrants by accepting bilingualism. We should honor diversity, but not at the cost of breaking the bonds of cohesion, common ideals, a common language, and common political institutions that hold the nation together. Another perspective discussed is cutting back in response to economic realities: The first concern should be the economic cost imposed by the huge influx of immigrants and their effect on wages and jobs.
The fact is that we need to educate and employ the people already here before we can worry about paying for the education, welfare and healthcare of hundreds of thousands newcomers each year. Plus, the burden is not spread evenly; most immigrants settle in big cities and Sun Belt states. We should restrict the number of newcomers and look more closely at how their arrival affects us. The immigrants we do accept should either have jobs waiting here or have the skills to support themselves. The nation’s first obligation is to protect the welfare and wellbeing of those who are already American citizens (Issue Guide).
The states have ‘Interstate Compact’ which is an agreement between two states allowing a convicted felon that has been released from incarceration into society on either probation or parole to change their state of residence. However, it has numerous strict regulations to have approval granted. Some of these are; a designated place to live, a job pending, family or supporting individuals, and the ability to support themselves…all of which must be verifiable prior to consent being given. Illegal immigrants are repeatedly breaking our laws and should be held to the same standards as the convicted criminals are here in the United States.
America is economically struggling. The government should not be making it worse by inviting millions of immigrants to compete in the job market. Providing immigrants with generous public services turns America into a magnet for the world’s poor. It is essential that we take care of American citizens first; in public services, jobs, and education. In lieu of the present everyday fear of terrorism, America cannot be lax with immigration policy allowing terrorists to enter the country unchallenged. It is imperative that we, as a country united, halt permitting more immigrants in than the authorities can check out.
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