The various circumstances that prompt illegal immigration exist in multiple spectra, including perceived medical, political, and economic calamities occurring in one’s nation of origin. The parameters in which to qualify and quantify illegal immigration have become so vast due to the limitless catalysts, which caused the initial migration. Illegal immigrants have been victims of genocide, political instability, and pandemics; illegal immigrants have arrived on American soil in the form of both refugees, as well as opportunists seeking an improved quality of life.
At the end of the 1800’s, Ernest Ravenstein – a scientist who specialized in the study of migratory patterns – attempted to structure an empirical process in which he had hoped to substantiate migratory habits; he labeled it pull and push. In his structure, Ravenstein assessed both catalysts and motives that could initiate migration, grouping them into two categories, ‘push factors’ and ‘pull factors’.
Push factors were defined as pressing – and at times, life-threatening – situations in need of immediate action, such as the Holocaust or the earthquake in Haiti. Conversely, pull factors were defined as issues, though important, did not display an air of considerable urgency or danger, such as the desire for family reunification.
Yet, regardless of the respective causes for illegal immigration, both controversy and ambiguity are deeply rooted in the issue itself. Many advocates of the enhancement of rights for illegal immigrants feel that the ethical implications far outweigh the legal ones.
They maintain that despite their illegal entrance and residence, lobbyists and legislators should urged to examine the causes for their respective – albeit illegal – migration, in addition to both the evaluation of prior living conditions, as well as a consideration for familial integrity.
Adversaries of the allowance for enhanced rights to illegal immigrants allege that regardless of causality, illegal immigrants have broken federal laws upon illegally entering the United States, and as a result, all expenses incurred on their behalf – both fiscal and economical – invariably become a burden on legal, tax-paying citizens.
The complexity of the issue of the innate causes for illegal immigration is deeply rooted in both objective statistics, as well as humane compassion – a dichotomy that continues to propel the issue of illegal immigration into the forefront of legislative controversy.
The effects of illegal immigration on the United States are vast. In contrast to incendiary issues such as tax reform and a flailing economy, which indirectly involve human beings through policy,
Due to the fact that illegal immigration is – in and of itselfcrime, many adversaries of the enhancement of rights allowed to illegal immigrants do not wish to engage in any policy that foists the perceived fiscal and societal burden of illegal immigrants onto American citizens. Many of these lobbyists claim that the presence of illegal migrant workers drastically affect both the economy, as well as the job market of the United States.
One one hand, adversarial views maintain that an increased population diminishes the job market. On the other hand, the process of the exploitation of illegal immigrants on the part of unscrupulous employers capitalizes on the collective desperation of those immigrants. Not only does this practice undercut legal American citizens willing to work for minimum wage, but it takes advantage of the powerlessness of illegal immigrants devoid of legal documentation.
Not only are illegal immigrant workers subject to injury at the workplace, but they are not allowed any insurance that would potentially cover any bodily harmed sustained on a job site. Furthermore, illegal immigrants have been the victims of extortion, enduring threats of the notification of immigration authorities contingent on their willingness to cooperate.
Finally, the social implications of illegal immigration have proved to be disastrous. Hate speech, racism, xenophobia, and an ultimate lack of empathy have wreaked havoc on the possibility of any potential naturalization – both on the part of legal and illegal immigrants – into American society.
Yet, many consider the presence of illegal immigrants in a nation already undergoing an economic crisis to be needlessly burdensome to its legal residents. In addition, due to an ever-growing concern of national security, many citizens are additionally wary of unchecked and undocumented foreign presence.
The process of identifying all of the dangers attributed to illegal immigration is a complex one. In order to truly understand the magnitude of the impending danger that plagues illegal immigrant, a separation must be made between the primary agency of the danger itself, as well as the by-products of it.
Without full a understanding and identification of a catalyst, precautionary measures to avoid it will simply manifest themselves in the form of damage control – in essence, security measures rooted in a trickle-down effect.
Unless the innate cause of the danger, which illegal immigrants are forced to endure is squelched, no security measures can exist to protect them, both on a domestic, as well as an international level. The primary agents of danger that beleaguer illegal immigrants is deeply rooted in exploitation.
Exploitation has riddled both societal and familial communities of illegal immigrants. Living in perpetual fear of their respective discovery as illegal residence – an offense that may result in deportation – illegal immigrants have fallen victim to countless instances in which blackmail and threats are common.
As a result, illegal migrant laborers are subject to unfair wages and dangerous work conditions. Since illegal immigrants are not citizens, there exists no lobby or authoritative body to advocate for their respective rights, which are essentially non-existent due to their illegal status.
Any complaints on the part of illegal migrant workers regarding an employer’s refusal to pay or an injury sustained on the job site can be quickly extinguished by a mere threat. A simple threat to alert the authorities, potentially resulting in deportation, and as a result, the dissolution of a familial structure, serves as an element of domination over illegal immigrants.
Due to overactive gang-related violence that takes place on the border of the United States and Mexico, both citizens, as well as immigrants – with legal and illegal statuses – are subject to falling victim to dangerous activity. With an influx of drugs, illegal funds, and human trafficking crossing the border on a daily basis, various criminal elements – such as gangs – have full access to the United States.
Since no security measures exists that demand a presentation of documentation upon entering the United States, no accounting for the quality of character, history, or crime records exist. Not only are illegal immigrants subject to gang violence and rampant human rights violations, but the presence of gang activity places American citizens in danger, as well.
Most Common Ways Illegal Immigrants Enter the United States
There exist two primary methods in which illegal immigrants both initiate and maintain their respective illegal residence within the United States: the illegal crossing of national borders and the disregard for the residential time allotment parameters set forth by their respective visas. Though the two methods serve a similar purpose, the implications that are drastically in contrast.
Illegal immigrants who have illegally crossed national borders with the hopes of immigrating – and those who have yet to do so – are subject to vast danger. Primarily, many illegal immigrants have fallen victim to drowning, exhaustion, and death due to arduous natural conditions, such as expansive deserts and large bodies of water.
Secondly, due to an ever-growing population of unsanctioned vigilante armies led by citizens who have taken the responsibility of guarding the border of the United States – and its neighboring countries – upon themselves, immigrants participating in the illegal crossing of national borders subject themselves to a proverbial game of ‘cat and mouse’; untrained and armed vigilantes devoid of government sanction have been known to hunt, capture, and kill unarmed families illegally crossing national borders.
Lastly, the presence of mercenary groups offering assistance to immigrants wishing to immigrate illegally have been notorious for their exploitative actions. Though some of these groups have been benevolent, there exist countless instances in which mercenary groups have extorted the immigrants whom they were hired to help – in the form of rape, theft, and refusal of service.
The disregard for the parameters of residence allotted by a visa on the part of illegal immigrants is far less dangerous than attempting to cross national borders in an illegal fashion, but still encompasses grave ethical implications. Due to the fact that a visa is issued on the basis of trust and privilege, disregarding the the faith imparted upon its issuance strikes a chord of both defiance and disrespect in the minds of many legal citizens.
Upon first glance, the notion of permitting illegal citizens to obtain legal rights seems paradoxical, at best. Due to a perceived glaring paradox, many detractors consider even the prospect of the process to be fundamentally flawed at the most basic level.
On one hand, the inherent methods of granting legal rights to those who maintain illegal residence in the United States appear to be impossible to navigate. Many of the lobbyists who are adversarial to this process call into question the underlying message that is conveyed by allowing rights to those who reside in the United States under illegal pretenses; a perceived hypocrisy that ultimately undermines the importance of participating in society as a law-abiding citizen.
Furthermore, these detractors hold the granting of legal rights to those who act illegally as a de facto reward system, recompensing illegal behavior with positive reinforcement. Many have expressed their concerns not only about the integrity of the message expressed as a result of awarding illegal behavior, but also the ramifications of weakening a structural and societal incentive to live a legally-sound lifestyle.
On the other hand, lobbyists who advocate for the enhancement of rights awarded to illegal immigrants call into question the collective ethical and moral responsibilities of the citizens of the United States.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States awards anyone born on American soil unmitigated citizenship, regardless of any ancillary details pertaining to their birth; the legal – or illegal – status of the respective parents is rendered null and void in the awarding of citizenship to any child born in the United States.
Many advocates have urged both legislators, as well as citizens to remain cognizant of their innate humanity. Ethical dilemmas surrounding illegal immigration have been presented, and questions such as “Does legal status detract from one’s innate human rights?” have been posed.
Further complications have arisen due to the prospect of awarding driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, as outlined in the REAL ID Act. The proposal to issue of driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants is subject to analysis, because there exists ambiguity regarding the underlying goals of this proposal – many argue that the value of the documentation and background check that the driver’s license provides far outweighs an assumed altruistic desire to bestow privileges, such as driving, onto illegal immigrants.