HomeOpinionsImmigration debate continues despite new laws

Immigration debate continues despite new laws

America is a nation of immigrants. The Pilgrims came for religious freedom. The Irish came to begin a new life after the potato famine. World War II refugees came to escape the war in Europe. Many people from nations around the world continue to immigrate to the United States. However, concerns have begun to arise about the legality of these immigrants when they come to America.

            In 2009, 393,000 foreign nationals were removed from the United States according to the Department of Homeland Security. To help address this problem the state of Arizona passed an immigration law in April 2010. This law said the illegal aliens should not be hired, transporting or harboring the illegal aliens while they are in the country is illegal and that agencies of the state need to help enforce immigration laws throughout Arizona. Governor Jan Brewer signed this into law and has gotten a lot of bad press because of it.

Some groups have voiced concerns against the Arizona bill saying that it will encourage racism, racial profiling and take away the rights of illegal aliens. In regards to racism and racial profiling, it’s a terrible thing. Discriminating against a certain group of people due to the color of their skin goes against the Constitution because “all men are created equal.”

However, when it comes to the Arizona law, it’s not as much about skin color as it is country of origin. According to the Department of Homeland Security 2009 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, 613,003 illegal aliens were deported. Of that number, 528,139 of these aliens were from Mexico and 19,149 aliens were from Honduras. Racial profiling isn’t the right thing to do, but when so many people come from the same countries and backgrounds it’s extremely hard not to question the status of people who look a certain way.

Illegal aliens are speaking out saying that this new law takes away their rights. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, no person is illegal and people in this country have rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution. This is true to a certain degree. Every legal person has rights. Illegal aliens are not considered to be citizens. Therefore, they don’t have rights guaranteed by the Constitution. They have rights from the countries they came from such as Mexico. If illegal aliens wanted the same rights as Americans they could take the proper steps to become citizens.

Illegal aliens also raise the costs of living for legal citizens. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the 2005 United States Census, the illegal alien population in Texas is costing taxpayers more than $4 billion a year. That equates to $725 per family. Is it fair for legal citizens of a country to pay taxes for things that illegal aliens receive for free such as health care and education?

Many believe that this is just a problem in the United States when in reality; it’s an international problem. Many countries including the United States are taking preventative actions against illegal aliens. India began building a fence on its border with Bangladesh in 1987 to relieve this problem and is currently adding more sections to this fence. China has also dealt with illegal immigrants from North Korea and has since built a security barrier. Egypt is currently erecting barbed wire and chain link fences to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing the border into Gaza and to eliminate illegal smuggling.

Immigration has been a hot topic and will continue to be one until legislators can figure out a solution to the growing migration problem. 

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