Illegal Immigration and America's Race Problem

Illegal Immigration and America's Race Problem - Illegal...

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Illegal Immigration and America’s Race Problem Alea Roach A05760824 3.5.07 Prof. Melissa Abrajano
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Race and race issues have been at the forefront of American political debate for hundreds of years. The problem of illegal immigration and America’s race problem are integrally related and mutually influence each other. Illegal immigration is just one aspect of this race problem, although recently illegal immigration has been the most visible issue within American politics concerning race relations. Recently, illegal immigration has been at the forefront of the topics of immigration, race, and employment. The topic of immigration is central to Americans race problem. The immigration of Hispanics, especially the illegal immigration of Mexicans has caused numerous problems and tensions for legal and illegal immigrants, the Hispanic group as a whole, and the rest of the population of the United States. In order to ameliorate this aspect of America’s race problem, drastic and prompt actions must be taken by the United States government, and the government of Mexico.
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Historically, people labeled ‘Hispanic’ have come to this country under very different circumstances and for very different reasons. They have different values and different ethnic identities, and only relatively recently have they united under the ‘Hispanic’ pan-ethnicity in order to gain political and socioeconomic power. In his article “E Pluribus Hispanic?” Peter Skerry quotes Alejandro Portes as saying “‘Hispanic’ ethnic solidarity is quite fragile because it is ultimately a political creation rather than one based on the real experiences of the groups so labeled’”. (Skerry, 17) For example, the Cubans found refuge within the United States from the rule of Fidel Castro. They were welcomed into the country, received aid from the US government, they settled mostly in Florida, and they have been the most successful group of Hispanic immigrants to this country. The Puerto Ricans came have settled largely in New York, and have fared worse than Mexicans and Cubans. The largest immigrant group among the Hispanic groups is Mexicans, whose history is mixed. Many Mexicans in the United States have been in this country from the beginning. Others can trace their ancestors back to the Mexican- American war, or perhaps earlier. However most of the recent Mexican immigrants have come to this country illegally (Smith, 20).
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Although these groups have different histories and cultures, the similar treatment of these Hispanic people within the United States has led to a growing ethnic solidarity and a greater sense and usage of the Hispanic pan-ethnicity. Smith states “Such historical and socioeconomic differences are obviously important, but their political significance is not readily apparent.” (Smith, 21) In reference to the distinct differences between the different ethnicities contained within the term ‘Hispanic’, Skerry states “Nevertheless, the very ambiguity of the pan-ethnic
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This note was uploaded on 05/16/2008 for the course POLI SCI 100H taught by Professor Abrajano during the Spring '07 term at UCSD.

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Illegal Immigration and America's Race Problem - Illegal...

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