The increase in security threats in the past decades has resulted in various discussions about immigration policies. Most Americans believe that safety problems have risen in recent years because of the increase in immigrants coming to America. Many people continue to flow into the country. Consequently, the change in immigration policies in the past years have given illegal immigrants more privilege to live and work in the country; therefore, there is need to modify the immigration laws so that the illegal immigrants are either legalized to live in the United States or deported back to their countries in peaceful and human way. This paper will examine the immigration concepts in the United States and how they have impacted the countrys social set up.
The bad perception that Americans have branded the immigrants has exposed most of the immigrants to social isolation. The stereotype perception that the immigrants are perceived with have only enhanced their social discrimination and isolation. Research indicates that most of the Americans believe that the immigrants are most likely to be criminals than the native-born Americans (Simes & Waters, 2014). This kind of stereotype notion that the society has branded immigrants is followed by the historical incidences that have been witnessed in America. Criminal activities have been associated mainly with the Islamic groups such as the Jihad that claim that they are doing Allahs work. Most of the terrorist acts in America have been associated and linked with the radical Islamic groups like the Jihad group. Most American especially the whites and Republicans continue to associate the immigrants with criminal activities (Simes & Waters, 2014). As advocated by the conflict theory, the interaction between different people is most probably to result in conflict (Bakewell, 2010). The perception created by the Native Americans against their non-native counterparts show that the two sides do not consider one another members of the same society. There is no need to discriminate someone only because he/she was not born in America; therefore, the policies should be changed either to allow them stay in the country legally like anyone else or be deported back to their home countries instead of exposing them to discrimination that most of them go through.
The change of immigration policies has tried to reduce the number of undocumented immigrants in America (Orrenius & Zavodny, 2007). The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 have ensured that alien immigrants are deported back to their countries. The rate of deportation of foreign immigrants out of the United States have risen in the past years; for example, it is estimated that approximately 400,000 immigrants are deported back to their countries annually (Debry, 2012). In 2011 about 46,000 people of different racial groups were deported back to their native countries. Although the government is trying to reduce the security threats and other social problems that are associated with the immigration; but we need to be more considerable about the effects of the deportation. Most of the people who were deported in 2011 were parents of children with US citizenship (Debry, 2012); this means that these children will be raised with a single parent, which can also affect them psychologically and emotionally. Deporting the immigrants is not wrong because the country cannot accommodate everyone who comes in the country especially someone whose background is not clear. However, it the deportation process should be based on human rights and done in the right way.
Most of the considered illegal immigrants are said to have entered the country through legal means; however, they are deported because their time of staying have expired and they have overstayed. Approximately 30-50% of the immigrants are overstaying in the country even after their visas have expired (Krogstad & Passel, 2014). As a result, the government is a force to deport them because they pose a huge security threat to the locals. Although some of them might not have the intention of causing problems in the country, there is no reason as to why they should stay in the country if their time has expired. Research indicates that most of the people arrested are undocumented immigrants who live in the shadows. Approximately 4% of American population consist of the undocumented immigrants who (Krogstad & Passel, 2014). Again, this value contributes to approximately 5% of the American labor force (Krogstad & Passel, 2014). Although the majority of the undocumented immigrants are working, they are still exposed to challenges; for example, most of them are not allowed to access education. As the conflict theory documents, inequalities are established in every social structure where the dominant group tries to maintain the dominance. The majority of the undocumented immigrant workforce has not gone beyond high school level (Healey & OBrien, 2014). As a result, they are used by employers in the wrong ways. Most of the immigrants are underpaid by their employers and socially and racially segregated. The social and racial segregation comes as results of the majority who control the means of production are natives. Immigrants are not allowed to enjoy the same privileges that the natives are enjoying; such as pursuing higher education and seeking employment. The laws should be changed so as to accommodate the immigrant workforce who also contributes to the American economy like anyone else; for example, the civil rights organizations should also involve them. American history has been majorly linked with the social segregation issues; the marginalized groups were not allowed to enjoy the white privileges. However, the case has taken another turn; today we see the immigrants being discriminated and denied the chance enjoy the rights in the country such as education. The amount paid to a Native American is not the same to the amount paid to non-native American doing the same job (Orrenius & Zavodny, 2007). This disparity has been contributed primarily by the inequalities in power and reward as advocated by the conflict theorists.
The victimization of the marginalized immigrant groups in America has caused more suffering to the immigrants that even deportation can be a better option for them. The immigrants are the main marginalized groups in America as they experience difficult situations worse than the natives who are racially discriminated. According to social conflict theory, the dominant group uses the privileges that they have to undermine the marginalized groups (Bakewell, 2010). Proponents of this theory argue that the socio-economically marginalize groups tend to file more complaints of mistreatments. Immigrants in America, however, have not been able to come in public to share their experiences because they do not have the legal documents that allow them to be in the country. The conflict theory is manifested through the immigrants who live in the shadows. The people who live in the shadows consist of undocumented immigrants who work and do their businesses as usual like any other American. Shadow life is not easy, but they are forced to live because it is the only way they can obtain their livelihoods. Underpayment and overcharge are some of the main challenges that the people living in the shadows are exposed to. The civil rights can only protect the American citizens; therefore, sometimes the marginalized immigrants find it better to be expulsed from the country to their country. The expulsion rate has recently increased due to increased victimization of the immigrants. Conflict theory further explains that change emerges in as a result of conflicting between different parties (Bakewell, 2010). As much as the rate of deported immigrants has risen in the past decade, the number of immigrants in America is still huge. Approximately 11 million people in America are unauthorized immigrants (Krogstad & Passel, 2014). The competition that the population creates regarding employment led to the recent changes witnessed through a great expulsion of immigrants. Approximately 8 million of the American population that forms the labor force does not have right and legal documents that allow them to stay in the country. This population represents approximately 5% of the total countrys labor force. When the 8 million unauthorized people continue to hold various job positions, it means that another 8 million Native Americans do not have jobs because they have been taken up by the immigrants (Krogstad & Passel, 2014). Therefore, as the conflict theory explains; when resources are limited conflict tend to emerge between groups. The great expulsion of immigrants recently witnessed in the country should be carried out in the right way because most of the people deported are a non-violent and non-threatening population who only come to the country in search of better living conditions. Some of them flee from their countries because of civil wars; therefore, the laws should be changed to accommodate them by allowing them to stay in the country legally so that they dont stay in the shadows and continue to be overexploited by people who only consider their wealth income instead of the rights of the workers. However, if it is mandatory that they are deported back to their countries, then it should be done in the right way and peacefully.
On the other hand, we cannot forget or ignore the possibility of associated criminal activities. The United States have been lenient with the security issue since the 9/11 terrorist attack that left a remarkable scar in most peoples minds (Orrenius & Zavodny, 2007). Many American lives were lost in the attack; therefore, we cannot blame the bitterness of the natives towards the non-natives. The government has a duty to protect its people with every means necessary. Therefore, if it means deporting the immigrants since, they pose a security threat to the national security no one can blame the government because that is its primary responsibility. However, there are other ways of dealing with the problem without necessarily subjecting the immigrants to psychological and emotional torture. Most of the immigrants are in the country illegally, but this does not mean that they are all terrorists. The government needs to consider the expulsion strategies to ensure that no one is hurt in the process.
In conclusion, America has been known for its democratic advocacy worldwide. Despite the increasing number of immigrants flowing into the country, the government has been able to deport many of them back to their home countries. However, the process of deportation has not been peaceful as many people are either brutally or forcefully taken back. The policymakers need to redesign and come up with different laws that can either accommodate or legally allow millions of undocumented immigrants to live and enjoy the same privileges that Native Americans enjoy because some of them are either parents or family relatives of the American citizens. However, if the deportation has to be carried out then it should follow a protocol which is human and considers the human rights.
Bakewell, O. (2010). Some reflections on structure and agency in migration theory. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36(10), 1689-1708.
Debry, J. (2012). How Todays Immigration Enforcement Policies Impact Children, Families, and Communities. Center for American Progress, August.Healey, J. F., & O'Brien, E. (2014). Race, ethnicity, gender, and class: The sociology of group conflict and change. Sage Publications.Krogstad, J. M., & Passel, J. S. (2014). 5 Facts about Illegal Immigration in the US. Pew Research Center.Orrenius, P. M., & Zavodny, M. (2007). Effects of an Amnes...
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