Illegal Immigration [Justin Garcia]

Illegal Immigration [Justin Garcia] - she is talking to,...

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Unformatted text preview: she is talking to, and what she wants to communicate about herself. Moreover, the same identity label can mean different things to tiifrctent people, and Latinos themselves often disagree about identity labels. A Chi— cano in Calil'ornia may see himselt'as identifying more closely with Mexico by using this label. On the other hand, a mexicano (born in Mexico) may see this term in a negative light when used lot people of Mexican descent horn in the United States, whom he does not really consider Mexican at all. Despite the complexity here, more than 80 percent of Latinos report using ei- ther "Latino" or “Hispanic” to identify themselves at least some of the time, and l..atino is generally the least offensive term for the majority of Latinos in the United States today. Samoa R little-rile See aha: Uoricua; Chicano-“a; Chicai'lo IVlm-cinent; La Ram; Latino-‘21; Mestitola; h-‘lesiCan—Amei-ican \‘v’ar; Race; 'Tejanos. Further Reading Anzaldt’ia, “dorm. Bfil‘ifllt"l"¢lr'ffiti'ifilLa! lt'rrmrrrir: The New Mac- i‘ét-w. 198.1 Sail l"i‘antisctt Aunt Lute, 200?. Brodie, Mollyann, Annie Stell—enson, jamie Valdez, Re- becca Levin, and Roberto Sum. “2002 National Survey f}l’\l.2l.[ll'105‘.." Menlo Park. CA: Henry Kaiser family foundation; Wlashingron, DC: Pew Hispanic Center, 2002. Chavex, John R. 'l ilir Lari Load: The (,ilillt'ttttl’d lavage lilac" Seri'ir'rttts'r. Albuquerque: [,lniversiry of New Mexico Press, 1984. l-layes—Bautista, David E, and jorge Chaps. "Latino Ter- minology; Conceptual Bases for Standardized Termi— nology." fltiit'r'itrmJoana?! tif‘l'arililit' Ht’tfllfll’} ilzl (January 198?): (ii (38. Tanno. Dolores V. “Names, Narratives. and the Evolution til Ethnic identity.” ln Orrr Halts: EJJWJU‘ if? (Lair/ire, Ell?— iiit‘iry amt! Camtortilla-tries, ed. Alberto Gonzales, Marsha Houston, and Victoria Chen. Los Angeles: Rosbury, ZOO-l. _____________,,_______._____________.—.———————— Illegal Immigration llegal immigration is the act of entering and tak— ing up residence in a foreign nation without the proper attthorixation of that country's gorernment. People who live in the United States in violation of [H— Illegal Immigration US. immigration laws are referred to as illegal aliens. illegal intentional. or totalitarianism.” itiiririgmiiti. It is es— timated that approximately ll million illegal aliens resided in the United States in 2005. living in all fifty states. The exact number of undocumented im- migrants is difficult to determine, however, because of flawed statistical estimates, undocumented inflow, and the inability to account For departures from the United States, deaths, or changes in immigrant sta— tus. The undocumented immigrant population in the United States consists of virtually every nations :tlity in the world, However, slightly over half are of Mexican origin, comprising an estimated 5.9 million undocumented immigrants. Illegal immigration is not a recent issue, but it has emerged as an especially controversial political and social topic in recent. years as the image—born population of the United States increases and large Latino communities have emerged in areas where they previously did nor exist. Critics of illegal immi— gration maintain that undocumented immigrants take jobs from American Citi7t‘ns, do not pay their fair share ol' taxes, and burden social services, such as education and health care. Cultural conservatives also claim that undocumented immigrants, particularly those from Latin America, threaten the “cultural unity" of the United States by refusing to assimilate into the dominant Anglo social and cultural core. Immigrant rights advocates couriter these arguments by claiming; that undocumented aliens often take low—paying and menial jobs that American citizens do not want, that ilIEgal immigrants aCtually do pay social security and federal income taxes, and that all previous immigrant groups to the United States laced a period of social and cultural transition while being incorporated into American life. Early 1 9005 The US. Border Patrol was established in 1.924 to regulate the entry ottt:rr:igners across the US. Mexito and ll.S.—Canadian lmrders and to enforce. immigra- tion laws by detainii'ig those who illegally entered the country. The federal government established the Bor- der Patrol at a time when several other immigration resrrictions were being put in place. The new restric— tions were directed primarily at Southern and Eastern Illegal Immigration 2501 European and Asian immigrants. in fact, immigra- tion enforcement at the turn of the twentieth century loi'nsed on apprehending Chinese immigrants at— tempting to enter the United States from Mexico rather than on MCXicans attempting to cross the bor- der. During this period, certain theories about “race,” which argued tllat Southern Europeans and non-white peoples were morally and intellectually iiilt3tit'ii' to those of Northern and Western European descent, gained wide. popularity in the United States. Since the vast majority of in‘n‘nigtauts at the time. were. from Soutl'icrn and Eastern Europe and Asia, these groups became the primary targets of anti—immigrant nativ— ism and immigration control efforts. Anti-Mexitan prejudice flared up throughout the Southwest during the Great Depression of the l‘fiils. American workers and politicians often viewed Mexi— cans1 whether foreign or U.S.-born, as unwanted com— petitors for scarce jobs and government relief—programs. Tl'iroughout the Hills, the US. government, with the support of the Mexican government, repatriated more than halia million Mexicans, including illegal immi— grants, legal immigrants, and Mexican Americans who had been born in the United States. During the 1950s, President Dwight D. Eisen- hmvet and Attorney (.ieneral l-lerbett Brownell launched a massive deportation campaign known as "Operation \Wetback.” The term "wethack" is a de— rogatory term for Mexicans who enter the United States by swimr‘ning across the Rio (-i-tande. Between 19'5"? and 1934, when the United States experienced an economic. recession that nearly doubled the unem— ployment rate, Mexicans once again became a target and scapegoat lot the economic downturn. From 1954 to 1959, the Border Patrol and local police in the SnuthweSt rounded up and sent 3.8 million people back to Mexico, the overwhelming majority of whom did not receive an olTieial deportation hearing. Late 19005 The US. government has not conducted large-scale. deportations of illegal immigrants since the lEJSOs, although illegal immigration has steadily received increasing attention from the media, the public, and policymakers since the late l9?lls. in late l98ti, Pres— ident Ronald Reagan signed the immigration Re- h‘il‘lil and Control Act “RC/3t), popularly referred to as the Sin‘ipson—Mazzoli Bill, alter its leading con- gressional sponsors, Senator Alan Simpson (R—\VY) and Representative Romano Mazzoli (D—KY}. lRCA contained two major planks. First, it of- tered amnesty to illegal immigrants who could. prove that they had resided in the United States since l‘EJHZ. (An amnesty is an official pardon or act oft-or— giveness by the government for an illegal activity committed in the past.) Undocumented immigrants who qualified were given the opportunity to adjust their immigration status and live. and work freely in the United States. Some politicians and immigration control groups opposed granting amnesty to illegal immigrants because, in their csrimation, it rewarded those who had violated immigration laws, poten— tially encouraging further illegal immigration. The Other major provision of JRCA made it a crime. for employers to hire undocumented workers. As a result, federal law requires employers to verily that their employees are either American citizens or Otherwise eligible to work in the United States. Since 19%, job applications routinely ask individt'tals if they are a US. citizen or legal resident, and employ- ers require applicants to produce a Social Security card, work authorization permit, or other document verifying that an employee is not in violation of im— migration laws. lRCA gave the federal government the ability to fine employers who failed to comply with these guidelines. Since many illegal immigrants come to the. United States in search of employment, lRCA‘s snppt'ittets believed that illegal immigration would decrease sig— nificantly when undocumented immigrants learned they would not be eligible to find work. Civil rights organizations feared that lRCA opened the door lot employment—based discrimination against all lntinosr’ as and “immigrant—looking" peoples, as employers who sought to avoid criminal sanctions might treat all members of such groups as a suspect class. How- ever, despite some initial success in reducing illegal entry during the iate 1980s, IRCA has not thwarted illegal immigration. Relatively few employers have been fined for hiring undocumented immigrants, and the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has grown sreadily throughout the l990s and early 2000s. In the ii'iid-IUFMJs, illegal immigration once again grabbed national media attention, with California taking center stage. As reci'ssioi'l and unemployment took hold in the state, many California policymakers hcgan calling for a crackdown on illegal aliens. Pro- posals ranged from an increase in the number of Border Patrol agents to denying American citizen— ship to ll.S.—born children of“ undocumented parents. One member of. the California legislature even sug— gested that all Latinoslas in the state be required to carry a personal identification card to verify legal residency a clear civil rigl'its violation that illus— rrates the racial undertones of' the immigration de— bate. in [994, California voters passed Proposition 187’, a reierendum that, among other things, called for the denial of nonemergency medical care and public education to adults and children who reside in the state illegally. Although a federal judge blocked implemenr:-iriou oli Proposition [8.7, the debate ema- nating lion] California in the wake of voter passage had national teverberations, with lawmakers in other states and the US. Congress contemplating how to stern the influx of undocumented immigrants. Although illegal immigrants in the United States tome from nearly every nation in the world, most of the attention given to this matter centers on that from Latin America and the (Laribbean— particularly Mex- iro, Haiti, and Cuba {despite the fact that Cubans have historically been granted political asylum and are therefore permitted to live in the United States legally as rehigees). In the mid—1.9905, new fences were erected along the IU.S.—l\iexican border, and Operation Hold the Line and Operation Gatekeeper were im— plemented in El I’aso and San Diego, respecrively, to crack down on the influx of ul'idocumented immi- grants from Mexico. Meanwhile, interceptions ol- Hai- tian and Cuban refugees intensified olT the coast oi“ Florida, with those captured often deported to their homelands or placed in detention centers. Less arten~ lion was given to securing the Ll.S.-Canada border and to cracking down on undocumented immigrants who overStayed their tonrisl or student visas. On September $3.0, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law the illegal Immigration Rt‘lorrri and immigrant Responsibility Act (liRlRA). Although the main thrust of the legislation was toward ap— prehending and deporting Foreigners who commit l Illegal Immigration 251 a Marehets in Los Angeles rally for amnesty for illegal aliens on May Day—international workers’ day- in 2002. The Sign reads: “My father pays taxes and needs a driver's |i-- eense NOW." (David McNeleeti‘y images) Violent crimes in the United States, it also called for increased border enforcement and placed stricter restrictions on a refugees ability to obtain political asylum. Under the llRlRA, undocumented inimi- grants who lived in the United States for at least six months would be banned from legally migrat— ing For at least three years. The most controversial provision of the original bill—- excluding illegal immigrant children from attending public sclioolsr— was eventually dropped and did not become part of the law. Twenty-First Century At the beginning of the twenty-first century, illegal immigration remains one of the most controversial social policy issues in the United States. However, two recent trends distinguish current illegal immigration __| E3} Illegal Immigration and the debate surrounding it from those of the past. First, the geographic concentration of undocumented immigrants has diversified and is no longer confined to the Southwest. During the 1990s and early 2000s, illegal immigration became a hot—button issue in sub- urban and rural communities in Long Island (New York), Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia follow- ing heavy legal and illegal migration of Mexicans and (Ientral Americans to these regions. Secondly, there was a prolifi'ration of private citizens’ groups and grass— roots organizations attempting to draw attention to illegal immigration, influence political opinion on the subject, and, in some cases, :-i.]_iprel'iend undocumented ii'nmigrants themselves. in April 2005, a group calling itselfthe Minute— man Project began conducting citizen patrols along the southern Arizona border. The purpose of the group, according to its members, was to monitor the U.S.-Mexico border in (Iochise (Iounty, Arizona, and report suspected illegal immigrants to Border Patrol authorities, The Minuteman Project became the sub— ject of national controversy, however. California (lov— ernor Arnold Schwarzenegger expressed support for the Minuteman patrols, while President George \V. Bush criticized the group and alluded to its tactics as "vigilante." Bu sh h iniself expressed Stl'Ol lg support tor a guest worker program, much like the Bracero Program ol‘ the Elf/103 and l’ffills, as a i'nethod to reduce illegal immigration and provide certain American indus— tries, such as agriculture, with an adequate labor force. Senators John McCain (It—AT.) and Edward M. Kennedy (Tit—MA) ptopOsed a guest worker hill in 2005 that would require undocumented immigrants to first pay a line and complete a medical examina- tion and criminal bac {round check. and then apply liir guest worker status. But guest worker proposals in general laced opposition From hard—line im migra— tion control ad\-'i.icates, who demanded Stricter border enforcement and crackdowns on illegal immigration. ln December 2005, the House of Representatives passed a bill that called for the construction of new fences along the Texas and Arizona borders and stricter penalties against employers who hire undocu- mented immigrants. Congress continued to debate a number of measures, but in June 200? the Compre— hensive lm migration Reform Act, backed by Presi- dent (ieorge W’. Bush and Democratic. leaders, failed to survive a procedural vote in the Senate, i-t'lectively k illing legislation liar that year. Illegal immigration is a controversial issue and evokes strong emotional reactions from opponents and defenders alike because it represents a conflu— ence of sewral concerns: business interests, lal'mr in— terests, law and its enforcement, and issues of racial? ethnic, linguistic, and cultural diversity. These fac— turs ensure that illegal immigration will remain a hotly debated policy issue and social concern in the U nitecl States for many years to come. form: L). Garcia See artist immigration Enforcement; immigration Reform and Control Act of 'l98ti. Further Reading Aguirre, Adalberto, _J'i'., and jonathan ll. Turner, Asteri— r‘rm lit/fining]: The Disagrmntr amz’ C'.m.1‘eqrrerrcw of Du— t'rirrririacrrmr, 4th ed. New York: McGraw—Hill, 2.33004. (Shaver, Leo R. fihzzalxtt-ed Lox-er; llira/atwat-eta! lanaigmatr m rlrrret'ir‘rm Society: End ed. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace, 1998. Meier, Matt 3., and Feliciano Rilwra. Morin-re dentition} timer-rum il-‘lt".t'.emtr: iii-rim (fermentation fr) Chicanos. New York: Hill and ‘Wang, 1993. Sanchez, (.ieorgc- J. Becoming rel-lexicon Amaretto: ethnicity, Celt-rm, and left-rain m Chico-rm Lei Angelica; 19004945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Immigration Act of 1924 he _]ohnson—Reed Act, officially known as the l m— migration Aer of 'lf)?.4, set quotas on the num— ber of immigrants who could enter the United States llrom any? given country. The bill Was authored by Republican restrictionisrs who sought to curtail im- migration from Southern and Eastern. Europe- —an area that, prior to 1924, pioduced the. majority of im— migrants to the United States—was well as from Asia. Representative Albert johnson (R—WA), chairman of the (Iommittee on Immigration, Favored immigrants from Northern Europe. His political preferences were heavily influenced by the eugenics movement, which held that persons From Northern Europe are superior ...
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Illegal Immigration [Justin Garcia] - she is talking to,...

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